What We Do


What We Do

What we're about and why we exist.

Our Mission

Treetops Collective started with a question: how does a refugee woman make this community her true home--a place where she and her family can flourish for generations to come?

Just like trees need the right soil and conditions -- so do strong women. As they become established and stable, they provide shade for others, prevent erosion, and provide numerous other benefits to their surroundings.

Our mission is to connect refugee women with people and opportunities in their new community so they can put their roots down deep and stand tall for generations to come.

Our Values

Creativity
It has the power to build community, heal traumatic wounds, and communicate across language barriers. We believe creativity is part of designing products just as much as it’s part of solving social challenges.
Asset Based Community Development
Instead of focusing on needs and deficits, Treetops begins by assessing the gifts and skills women bring into our community from all over the world-- helping to find the perfect fit.
Sustainability
Our goal is to build financial sustainability both in the lives of the women we work with and within our organization--growing jobs and creating social enterprises to support our work.

Our Model

Imagine leaving the comfort of your home to move halfway around the world--where everything is new. You’d quickly realize how much of your identity had been rooted in the confidence you drew from work well done, relationships held dear and personal security you once had. Through our truly unique, research-developed model, Treetops Collective is providing opportunities for refugee women to find their place in West Michigan, reclaim their identity, and build new relationships.

We Build Social Fabric
Every person needs a place to belong--and when you find your place, you discover community, identity and support. At Treetops, we focus specifically on three key areas of relationships: Between refugee women, Between refugee women and non-refugee women, and between refugee women and our city’s institutions and processes.
We Grow Jobs
We help grow jobs by bridging the gap between strategic partners who are actively creating jobs within the textile industry, and talented artisans who have resettled here, bringing with them years of sewing experience. A practical way you can get involved is by supporting our partners directly--shop their products or contract with them for cut-and-sew services.
We Create a More Welcoming Community
We are changing the narrative around refugees by sharing stories about the gifts they bring to our community and providing opportunities for residents of Grand Rapids to meet their newest neighbors.

Our Makerspace

Within the walls of our South Division space, we are making beautiful things and building a beautiful community. We are within walking distance of many Treetops Collective members and accessible to those living in outlying areas by the Silver Line of the Rapid bus system. Any given day, our headquarters are a whir of activity, production and laughter. If you pop by, here are a few things you can expect:

Sewing machines humming amidst conversations about what it’s like to make Grand Rapids your home
Local artists teaching a creative workshop
Guests shopping our retail space for handmade goods
Community groups being led by refugee women
English conversation groups
Story-sharing around cross-cultural potlucks
Creative therapy groups led by a professional therapist
Baby showers for expectant refugee women

Besides our social enterprise and community development programs, our space is currently host to a textile business and we have room available for creative professionals on a drop-in monthly membership. If you are a photographer or designer looking to work outside of your home in a new environment, please contact us to reserve your spot.
Ask About our Space