Stephanie Giddens founded Vickery Trading Company in 2015 after a planned move to Africa with her family fell through, but her desire to help underserved populations was stronger than ever. Through her preparation for the move, she gained understanding about how to help marginalized people, especially from developing nations, and she decided to apply those learnings in her own community. After discovering the large refugee population living close to her home, she got to work looking for opportunities to empower women through business and Vickery Trading was born.
Early in her career, Stephanie was a health specialist for Head Start, giving her experience working with underserved, low-income populations. She co-founded and led the board of directors for Polished, a ministry that serves young professional women, and also worked in the private equity industry. The combination of these experiences helped prepare her to bring the vision of Vickery Trading Company to life.
A DFW native, Stephanie grew up in Arlington, graduated from Texas A&M University and received her Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2009. She lives with her husband Brad and their three young children. She is actively involved in her kids’ activities and their local church. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys time with girlfriends, reading and spending time with her family, usually with a Sonic Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper in hand.
Karen joined Vickery Trading Company in May 2021 as the Director of Programming, but Karen’s passion for empowering marginalized women started long before joining the team at VTC. When she was sixteen years old, she began fundraising for The Red Thread Movement, an organization that taught skills and provided income for marginalized women in Nepal and also spent her time volunteering at a pregnancy center as a client advocate. This propelled her into pursuing and graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Ministry to Victims of Sexual Exploitation from Moody Bible Institute giving her an educational background in grant writing, social work, trauma informed care, counseling and nonprofit management. After graduation, she served as a medical case manager for rescued sexually exploited youth for several years in the US. In 2019, Karen moved to India to work with the International Justice Mission as an Aftercare Fellow serving refugee survivors through improving community training materials, planning trauma informed care trainings, grant writing and empowering survivors to be equipped to thrive. She was brought back to the U.S. in March 2020 due to the global pandemic but continued her work remotely. In August of 2020, she decided to pursue more legal knowledge by enrolling in Southern Methodist’s University Paralegal Certification, completing the certification in June 2021.
Karen loves traveling and living in different countries. She is a wife and dog mom. As a people-oriented introvert and Enneagram 6, she spends her time recharging by exploring different neighborhood coffee shops, hiking trails, getting lost in a good book, learning new facts about dogs, and watching new movies with her husband.
Karen is a person who takes an empathetic, assertive, and innovative approach towards research and case management. Karen’s heart beats passionately for social justice, community empowerment and development of the marginalized--especially in trauma-informed care and mental health services to refugees. She is incredibly grateful to have found Vickery Trading Company.
Naomi is a native Texan who is passionate about helping refugee women discover their inner worth. After two years of college, she worked behind the scenes in an administrative role at e3 Partners & I Am Second. As a side hustle, Naomi later pursued her yoga teacher certification through Holy Yoga. In June of 2015, Naomi’s heart was awakened to the refugee crisis while volunteering at a refugee apartment community in Germany with e3 Partners & I Am Second. Since her time spent in Germany, Naomi’s compassionate heart comes alive when speaking with and befriending refugees. Naomi’s love for refugees inevitably led her to meet the founder of Vickery Trading Company, Stephanie Giddens. Naomi was drawn to VTC from the very first conversation with Stephanie due to Stephanie’s servant-hearted leadership and passion for women’s empowerment within marginalized people groups.
When Naomi isn’t at work, you can find her sipping on cozy drinks at your local coffee house, reading lifestyle blogs, and driving with her windows down. She enjoys being outdoors with her husband, having heart-to-heart conversations with her close friends, and journaling lofty dreams. Naomi daydreams about one day living in the mountains, and in time, aspires to use yoga as a holistic resource to help refugee women heal their mind, body and soul through meditative stretching. Naomi hopes to always work in the non-profit & social enterprise sector, empowering marginalized women and advocating for refugees world-wide.
Emily joined the Vickery Trading team as Production Supervisor in the Fall of 2020. Although American by birth, she has spent most of her life in countries in Central Asia and the Middle East. In 2015 she transitioned to Texas to study Fashion Design at the University of North Texas. She worked on the production team for a couture designer in Dallas before deciding she was interested in a different part of the fashion industry.
Emily considers herself a “third-culture kid,” which means she does not feel like she fully belongs to one culture or place, but instead has a mixed cultural experience. This makes the question “where are you from?” uniquely difficult to answer. Throughout her fashion design program, the concept of “home” and “roots” became central themes and she started gravitating towards the plight of refugees as they deeply resonate with concepts of wandering, homelessness, resettling, and transition. Joining the Vickery Trading team and vision became a beautiful way to combine Fashion Design and serving refugee women.
As the oldest of seven children, Emily learned how to manage responsibility from a very young age and was homeschooled kindergarten through high school. She currently resides in Denton and loves spending time with her family, cooking healthy food, playing strategy board games, and joining in on some ultimate frisbee on Sundays. She also enjoys making wedding dresses for her closest friends every now and then.
Mursal moved to Dallas as a refugee in 2015 to escape war, and she hit the ground running. She didn’t know how to sew when she arrived, but quickly enrolled in classes through Disciples of the Way at a local Lutheran church. There, she learned the basics and soon after, she joined Vickery Trading Company in the first class of Associates. She rose through the ranks and is currently our Production Director and Training Manager.
Mursal has a passion for learning and teaching. She holds a bachelors in Accounting and Finance and a Masters in Computer Science. Once she realized how much she loved sewing and teaching others to sew, however, she never looked back. She teaches sewing and English classes to refugee women in the Dallas community in the evenings and on weekends.
When not making VTC fabulous, you can find Mursal jogging around the lake (something she’s not allowed to do in her home country), doing yoga, teaching exercise groups, creating new products, helping newly arrived refugees or visiting any number of her friends from different cultures and languages (including her many American friends). She’s been married to her love for over 5 years.
Mursal believes that all people are worthy of love and anything worth learning is worth sharing. (See why we love her?!)
Meredith joined Vickery Trading Company in September 2021 as Marketing Manager. Meredith has always been passionate about working for companies with a social impact initiative. She graduated from Baylor University in 2012 with a degree in public relations and fashion merchandising. She has worked in a variety of industries from non-profit, finance, and higher education, but what has made her passionate about all her roles in her over ten years of experience has been how each company or institution placed value in social justice and community involvement. Meredith was drawn to VTC’s mission instantly and knew it would be a perfect fit with her fashion merchandising and marketing background.
When Meredith isn’t at work, you’ll find her enjoying time with her husband and three daughters. She is passionate about reforming the foster care system after spending four years as a foster parent, and officially adopting her three daughters. Her husband is in full-time ministry, so you can also find them at their church. She also enjoys coffee, cooking, walks in the outdoors, and traveling.
Hannah grew up in a Christian family with 7 brothers and 4 sisters in north Idaho and was homeschooled until college. She went to college in St. Paul, MN where she graduated with a B.S. in Intercultural Studies. After that, she moved to China for a year where she taught English to children at a learning center. Since being back in the states, she has continued to seek opportunities to teach whether that is with preschool children, after-school children, or ESL adults. She loves teaching, playing games, trying new things, and exploring. She met her husband at Dallas Theological Seminary and was married in summer of 2021. After marriage, she and her husband moved to Vickery Meadows in order to have more opportunities to meet and build friendships with refugees. They love meeting new people together and opening their home to show hospitality to others.
Through her experience with refugees during her time at college in Minnesota along with other experiences overseas and in Dallas, Hannah has developed a heart for loving, serving, and empowering women through teaching English. Hannah joined Vickery Trading Company fall of 2021 as an English Instructor and loves teaching the women how to speak and understand English. She is so thankful for the opportunity to grow relationships with these women through this instruction and to watch them grow in their confidence as English speakers.
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