TYLER, Texas — There are tons of swanky shops in East Texas, but in downtown Longview, there is a store where making a purchase will also help someone in need.
Heartisans Marketplace is not a typical boutique, all of the proceeds go to helping unemployed women to gain job training skills.
"The items that are sold in the marketplace, most of them are hand made by volunteers," Heartisans' program director Amy Hollins said. "Some of them we do purchase from market and resell, but everything we sell downstairs funds this program upstairs."
The boutique sells everything from journals to candles and even coffee. Those proceeds fund the Heartisan Program.
The program is six to eight weeks long and teaches women everything from financial literacy and banking to how to do their make-up for an interview.
"A lot of our women come as referrals either through rehabilitation programs or other non-profit partners, churches, police officers, probation officers," Hollins said. "Sometimes they just hear about us through word of mouth and come in."
To qualify, women must be unemployed, have a high school diploma or GED and be able to pass a drug test.
"So we look at their spiritual health, their mental health, their physical health, their emotional health," Hollins said. "We want to make them the best all around employee when they leave our program."
April is Heartisans' giving month. They are trying to raise $60,000. Every Saturday in April, the store will host different events to raise awareness and funds.
For more information on how you can help or learn more about Heartisans, click here.