HOUSTON – A Woodlands women’s boutique takes giving back to another level. Everything that is sold at the store benefits charity. Then, there’s the 12-foot wooden wall in the middle of the store giving a former NFL player new purpose.
The store is called Philanthropy and it aims to live up to its name.
The owners sell waterproof “blessing bags” for customers to give to the homeless. Each bag includes $20 worth of essentials like water, canned meat, and toiletries along with kind letters saying “you are not forgotten.”
Everything sold in the store includes small charity donations too. The lone exception being the wall of t-shirts on shelves behind the checkout counter. Their non-profit sponsors get every dime of sales.
Owner Christine and Jackie Battle get something more.
“We found Philanthropy when my husband was playing with the Titans,” Christine Battle said. “We fell in love with the store, the concept, the boldness and the faith in Jesus Christ. So it just resonated with us in our hearts.”
For seven years and four teams, former University of Houston running back Jackie Battle muscled through NFL defenses. Then, at 31, wondered how to use his 6’3” 235-pound frame after football.
“Especially with all the hits I took and the CTE and all that stuff,” he said. “I have to keep my mind active. Who would have thought that (God would) have me in a women’s clothing store selling bralettes.”
The Battles found the flagship Philanthropy store in Franklin, Tennessee, while shopping for Christine.
What they saw in the middle of the business convinced the couple who had no previous retail experience and two young kids at home to franchise. With help from Philanthropy’s founder, they built their own store in The Woodlands last year.
“This is perfect,” Jackie Battle said. “I get to engage with people on a daily basis.”
The store’s centerpiece is called “The Prayer Wall.” It is handmade and stands nearly 12-feet tall.
On it, paper luggage tags handwritten by customers hang for others to take, share in prayer and perhaps make a difference.
“We actually have Sunday school groups that come in and take them by the handfuls and hand them to everybody in their bible study groups,” Jackie Battle said.
The wall is the store’s strongest thread binding boutique fashion with compassion.