From a young age, we each felt destined to do something significant with our lives, but had no idea what that was.
We grew to become thriving college students, and during the same time period, became victims of rape. We didn’t tell a soul. For one of us, the result was pregnancy. Despite the circumstances, we persevered to excel to the top of our design program and graduated, one of us with a one year old daughter in tow… this would turn out to be one of life’s greatest blessings.
After graduation, we began to pursue our careers and shared passion- Interior Design. For three years, we worked for local firms, then met one another at an industry event. There was an immediate connection and we knew our bond would be unbreakable.
As the years passed, we had many successes layered between trials and tribulations. We began our own interior design firm in our mid-twenties, one of us pregnant and the other a single mother of a five-year-old.
Nothing could prepare us for what followed seven months later. On 9/11, our country was brought to a standstill. The phones stopped ringing and everyone was in a daze- including us. Like our resilient American peers, we were too tough to remain feeling victimized- so we quickly got back to work… harder than ever.
Within a year, we hired our first employee, then our second. We were on our way. The phone was ringing off the hook with old clients and new. It was so exciting. Failure was never an option.
We began juggling pregnancies, travel and work. From the outside, it looked as if we had it all- great careers, amazing friends and big dreams. Behind the scenes, we were each dealing with domestic violence and were blindsided by the news that one of our children had been sexually violated by a trusted spouse.
We put on the mask of bravery, knowing we were heading toward something great, still unsure of what it was. By chance, we began product design, receiving awards and patents for our products. It was unbelievable. We had a stable (and fun) career, five spectacular kids and a several patents… What could possibly be next?
We had always talked about designing handbags, so we excitedly began sketching, designing and locating a manufacturer. One day, we received a call from a friend. In that moment, everything changed and our mission became crystal clear.
“Have you ever considered giving back a portion of your handbag proceeds to an organization such as It’s On Us?” he said. (Their mission is to end sexual assault on college campuses.)
He had no idea the power his words held. That was what we were meant to do… to tell our story, to be survivors not victims, to raise awareness and actively advocate to end abuse and to make the world a better place… Finally, we had a vehicle and a means with which to move our mission forward.
We no longer carry the shame and embarrassment of rape and abuse. We carry our courage with our heads held high. We wholeheartedly shift those heavy weights those who did this to us and our loved ones.
We stand strong as survivors, grateful for every experience that has brought us to where we are today. Most importantly, we are the proud mothers of the five most resilient, intelligent, beautiful children in the world. It is for them that we will shout from the rooftops until everyone hears our message of awareness and prevention.
Please join our mission, share our story and carry a Wren & Roch handbag to actively, and proudly, show your support. Otherwise, it’s a lot of work for just two people – and we won’t stop.
Be confident, fearless and always #CarryYourCourage,