Julie retired from teaching music in public and private schools in 2010, thinking she would become a full time “grandma”. But a mission trip to Haiti changed all that. After experiencing the extreme poverty in there, she carried the stories and faces of those she had met home with her. God planted in her heart the desire to create more beautiful lives and a path out of poverty for the women and families she had encountered. Vi Bella Jewelry sprouted out of that seed God planted.
Julie Hulstein is the Founder and CEO of VI Bella Jewelry. Vi Bella means “beautiful life” and that is Julie’s vision for Vi Bella artisans, their families, and their communities.
Today God is redeeming and restoring lives and communities through Vi Bella Jewelry by providing life-changing employment and a framework to share the gospel daily in supportive work centers. What began as one small center in Simonette, has since expanded to three international centers: 2 in Haiti and one in Mexico. A home office in her hometown of Sioux Center, Iowa also employs women who need of employment and a path out of poverty.
Julie and her husband Kirk live in rural Iowa and travel to Haiti together regularly. Married 36 years, they have been active in dozens of church and community activities and organizations. They enjoy spending as much time as possible with their children and grandchildren. Family is their greatest joy in life, next to knowing the Lord.
Julie holds strongly to the belief that God has a beautiful life planned for each of His children, and that God both calls and equips us as Christians to walk alongside one another to help each other enter into these beautiful lives.
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Every time I listen to one of these podcasts, my world gets bigger! Thanks, ladies!
I was tremendously moved by Julie’s story and by what God can do at any season of our life if we just listen. Amazing!