Author Archives: Marisa Barnett

Permalink to Sharing Life

Sharing Life

 It’s one entrepreneur taking time to go over record keeping with another entrepreneur.


It’s a mentor having her entrepreneur mentee into her home and introducing her to her family.


It’s a volunteer taking time to visit an entrepreneur whose business has been struggling.


It’s round the table discussions on budgeting and testimonies of God’s faithfulness.


It’s laughter and grateful tears.


It’s about sharing life with another person. Perhaps one of the most powerful aspects of the Paradigm Shift program is that it creates an environment that encourages people of different socio-economic backgrounds, races, and life experiences to share life with one another.


The other night I had the privilege of hearing entrepreneurs and church volunteers share about their experience in the Paradigm Shift program. Again and again they expressed how meaningful their relationships with each other were and how much learning took place within the context of these relationships.


We can never underestimate the power of sharing life with someone.



Permalink to Do you know what you’re buying?

Do you know what you’re buying?

You go to your local mall to pick out a gift for a friend. The label tells you it’s made overseas.


Does it tell you if it’s free of child labor?
Does it tell you if the employee who made it is paid a fair wage?
Does it tell you if the employee works in sweat-shop conditions?


All of the Paradigm Shift Shop products are made by South African adults who are paid a fair wage and work in safe conditions.
No child labor.
No sweat shop conditions.


These products are also designed and handcrafted by artisans with each product coming with a picture tag of the artisan who made the product. Not only does this make for a unique gift, but it also gives you a glimpse of the person and story behind each product.


In addition, your purchase is empowering South African artisans and is furthering Paradigm Shift’s impact for others overcoming poverty.


Purchase with purpose at and know what you’re really buying.


Permalink to New Product: VW Wire Car

New Product: VW Wire Car

Introducing the VW Wire Car: the perfect gift for the VW owner, vintage car collector or new driver.  Artisan Edwin designed this product so that the doors, trunk and hood up. Edwin’s knack for paying attention to detail is seen through details like the spare tire and VW letters in the front. Hand-crafted out of sturdy wire, this bug is almost road worthy.



At $15.00 this car makes for a fun and unique gift. And better yet, your purchase of this vehicle empowers Edwin and furthers Paradigm Shift’s impact in overcoming poverty!


Purchase it now:

Permalink to Introducing Pretty: New Paradigm Shift Shop Artisan

Introducing Pretty: New Paradigm Shift Shop Artisan

The Paradigm Shift Shop recently added Pretty to the Paradigm Shift Shop artisan group.


Pretty designs and creates beautiful beaded accessories while providing  employment to twenty-five other women and empowering them to provide for their families. The Paradigm Shift Shop now carries three stunning designs of Pretty’s  bracelets; the perfect summer accessory for any outfit!


Click here to purchase Pretty’s bracelets and read about her journey of leaving school at a young age to provide for her family to employing and empowering women in her community.

Permalink to Work Is A Journey

Work Is A Journey

Excerpt from chapter 20: Business of Justice from the book A Just World:


“While working with organizations and leaders from every continent, what has become clear to me is the core human need in any culture for meaning and purpose. Healthy systems demand that people understand what they uniquely bring to the ecosystem of the company. People are more productive when they are working from their gifts, talents, interests, strengths, and passions.


My experience has taught me that when people learn more about themselves, they start to ask those deeper questions: “So what are these gifts for?” “What is my time on the planet about?” Those questions help people come alive, put a sparkle of hope in their eyes, and always have an element of justice. People value themselves more and begin to “show up” in new ways.


At a deep level, we are created to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God, and when are able to do that as part of our day in commerce, sales, or production, we discover a deep and abiding joy.


As David Whyte says, “Work is not a static endpoint or a mere exercise in providing, but a journey and a pilgrimage in which the core elements of our being are tested in the world.””


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Common Ground

"Nearby Common Ground are multiple communities in need of economic renewal. We knew we as the church could change poverty if we coupled good development practices with biblical discipleship. The Paradigm Shift program has equipped us to make a meaningful impact in our city and for the kingdom of heaven."
--- Rigby Wallace, Founding Pastor, Common Ground

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