Meet the Maker: Denise Wolfe

Hi beautiful people!  Today's Meet the Maker series is going to feature... your's truly!  Hahahaha.  While it feels funny to say, I truly do make a huge amount of our products, so I figured... why not include myself in this series?  So without further ado, here is a little sneak peek into myself, my work, and my life.
Tell us the story of how you got started in your work: 
My story is the story of small pieces merging into a big vision.  I spent a portion of my college years headed in the wrong direction.  After a few years on campus, I withdrew from college and headed to Haiti to spend time as a missionary.  And it's not a stretch to say that God grabbed my life in a big way during that time.  I fell in love with the country, the people, and with God Himself.  While I was in Haiti, I knew I had to change my life radically.  God told me to leave my friends, and so I did.  He told follow him radically, and so I did.  And lastly... He told me to dedicate my life to loving and building up women, and so I did.  

I went home in December of that year a completely different woman.  I will never forget the reaction of my mother.  She looked at me and asked me if she could travel to Haiti with me.  She had to see this country that had so transformed her daughter.  

So I went back with my mom to Haiti that June, and His calling to love on other women remained just as strong as before.  But, in so many ways, I wrestled with how to live out this calling.  I considered staying in Haiti and dedicating myself to those women, and so I came back to the US and began to pursue my Master's Degree in evangelism in Colombia, South Carolina.  But something still wasn't quite right.

While I was wrestling through that calling, I joined a direct sales company where I grew and loved on a team of amazing women.  I poured my heart out to these women, reflected Jesus as much as I could, and learned so much about how to speak a language of love to many different kinds of women.  And even during these wonderful years, I still knew something was not quite right.

And then two years ago, one of my best friends lost her newborn baby, while another mama I followed on social media lost her precious daughter.  I felt this immense tenderness for them, almost other-worldly in nature.  I spent hours on the internet, reading blog after blog, desperate to walk with my friend through the darkness of child loss.  And then, in a way that only God can orchestrate, one of my other dear friends shared her tender heart towards mothers of children with special needs.  Our conversations about how to care for women were long and beautiful.   And from those experiences and conversations, God nudged my heart to create a company that would remind His daughters who had experienced deep loss that they were not alone and they were loved.  He had slowly guided me to where He wanted me all along.

What about your work makes you feel alive?
I am privileged to work on the front line of our company, packing and shipping each and every box.  I have handwritten thousands of letters, prayed over each box, and I feel so connected to your stories and friendships.  I feel so touched when I hear from women how their experience with laurelbox nourished their heart and how it made them feel. 
What accomplishment in your life makes you the most proud?
I'm immensely proud of laurelbox, and I'm also proud of the working relationship between myself and my cousin and co-founder.  People always tell you "don't work with family," but that's not our story.  I am also so proud of the way my husband and I have blended our family in a purposeful and God honoring way. 
Denise hand-makes our jewelry, Shining Bright Birthday Candles, You Light Up My Life Lanterns, Words of Memory Vintage Spoons, Glisten Where they Rest Glitter, You Are Adored Photo Boards, and Worthy and Brave Signs.  Can you tell us the story behind your products in the laurelbox shop? 

Ummmmm....seriously most of my inspiration came because Jesus would give me a random thought. I would write it down and then continue to tweak it until I felt it was "right."  Other product ideas come from a few brave and beautiful women who function as a sort of advisory board with us.  They so openly share what nourished them during their losses, and we are so immensely grateful for them and their inspiration.  God works in all sorts of ways.  

Is there any part of your own life story that gives additional meaning to working with laurelbox?  
After my close friend, Sarah, lost her baby, I felt this immense tenderness towards her.  I spent so much time scouring the internet for a gift box company that would suit Sarah.  In fact, our Prayer Shawl was directly inspired by Sarah and her precious son, Levi.  Now two years later, and after hearing the responses and stories and sisterhood that laurelbox has created, I am so affirmed that there is deep meaning behind our company.