LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – Heartisans Marketplace in Longview is changing lives one woman at a time. While known for its storefront, the East Texas nonprofit doubles as a job-readiness program for women who have troubled backgrounds and are underemployed. 

Their holistic approaches help an average of 30 to 40 women every year become better employees. Each program is six to eight weeks long, and during the women learn skills such as budgeting, nutrition, how to communicate in the workplace, interviewing techniques, and much more. 

Volunteer Coordinator Julie Lynn Ashley says the sky’s the limit for their graduates. Many women enter the program living in rescue homes with no job and walk out with ambition and the job offers. 

“We’re looking for what lights her eyes up. What has she wanted to do since she was a little girl, and now she has a whole team of people that are going to help her to reach that goal.”

Many continue with their education and attend higher education classes after leaving Heartisans. 

“I just had a graduate in my office last week, and one of the things she said to me was ‘When I was living at the rescue mission I had people that would tell me that I would be there my whole life. Now that I’ve come to Heartisans, I have my own job, I have my own place, and I’m not living there anymore.’ There’s hope, there’s joy, there’s goals and things for the future, and so it’s exciting to see that in our graduates.” 

Julie Lynn Ashley, Volunteer Coordinator 

Sponsors come together to help bring this program to life, but two-thirds of the funding for their job readiness opportunity comes from within through their marketplace sales. Most of the items sold in the store are handmade by their army of volunteers. 

The programs and volunteering are all done in their facility,  which is why the nonprofit is thrilled to be upgrading their studio area to a larger space located behind their market. 

To celebrate this growth, the public is invited to take a look inside of their new and improved area during a ”come and go” open house Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm where they will have all kinds of goodies to share. 

The team is hoping the public will join them so they can see the Heartisans at work and better understand their mission of “Love Serves.”