Today, I’m excited to introduce you to our latest owner – Samantha, or Sam to her friends.
You may have seen her over on YouTube as Sam Can Do. And after getting to know her a bit, there is no doubt in my mind that Sam sure CAN do anything she puts her mind to. She’s a mom, she’s a maker, she’s a Glowforge enthusiast…and she’s combining those skills to make a mark on the world.
We first discovered Sam when other Glowforge customers started telling us that they tune into Sam’s channel to learn about Glowforge through the many tips and tricks she sprinkles throughout – not to mention free design files she shares with her community.
That’s one of our favorite things about Glowforge – it seems to attract the most wonderful, kind, and giving folks.
And when wonderful people with incredible creativity get their hands on a Glowforge, amazing things happen.
For Sam, that meant putting her skills and passion to work in support of the Houston nonprofit, Elijah Rising. Their mission is to “end sex trafficking through prayer, awareness, intervention, and restoration.”
“I’ve always been passionate about female empowerment which is why I work at a nonprofit helping women get out of sex trafficking and back on their feet. And for so many of these women, we are helping them be on their own for the first time in their life.”
The biggest hurdle for these women, she says, is stable employment.
Sam looked at her Glowforge and realized she had an opportunity to teach women some vital leadership, entrepreneurial, and wealth-building skills. She used her Glowforge to help make goods for women to sell on behalf of the nonprofit, and launched the social enterprise, Elijah Rising Store.
Through the social enterprise, women are given employment opportunities to sell local goods like candles, soaps, wallets, home goods, and gifts.
“All of our coasters are stamped with custom acrylic stamps that I make on my Glowforge. All of our signs in our shop I laser cut. All our displays…I use it for so many different items and people are always so impressed with how branded and unique it is.”
Outside of the store, Sam also uses her Glowforge to create plaques for the Elijah Rising housing. Like this one.
Sam told us that the store has been a wonderful addition for the nonprofit and for the women involved, and she’s hoping she can gift them a Glowforge of their own next year.
“My goal is to earn enough extra income so that I can buy a Glowforge Pro for the Elijah Rising Shop. I want women to be able to make custom cut earrings and all sorts of things to sell in the store and empower them.”
Another way Sam uses her Glowforge is to show the women she works with that they can start a business from nothing and find ways to earn an income. Just like she did with her YouTube channel.
“I use my success with Glowforge to show them how they can learn and do anything they put their mind to and make money and earn extra income. I tell them how I didn’t know how to use a laser cutter, I didn’t know how to make, I’m not even a trained designer but I’ve been able to turn it into extra income for my family.”
What Sam, and so many other Glowforge owners have told us, is that beyond her YouTube and the nonprofit, she also prints on her Glowforge for personal use.
She makes presents, cake toppers for friend’s weddings, you name it.
And inevitably, as with many Glowforge-made gifts – these items are customized with meaningful detail that just couldn’t be bought at a store.
Like this story, which I dare you to read without tearing up just a bit:
“One of my favorite gifts I’ve ever made on my Glowforge was for one of my staff members. She had to quit because she had a lot of health issues. She was the intervention director which organized outreaches into the sex industry to help women get out. I was able to pull our metrics over the past two years to say, this is how many women she touched, how many women she reached out to, how many women she created a way for them to be able to receive resources to be rescued from sex trafficking. It was 3,104 women. And so I made a Christmas ornament that had that number on it. With the back that had an inscription with a thank you for her time with us so that she could remember it forever.”
If you want to see Sam’s work and shop crafts that support her cause, you can find the Elijah Rising store online here.