Tucked away on Bridge Street in the quaint little town of Linden is a tiny retail store that is an extension of Snuggle Sacks, a nonprofit organization founded in August 2015 by three children: Addisyn, Jaxson and Sheridan Goss. According to their mother, Stacy Daul, the goal of Snuggle Sacks has been to increase awareness of homelessness in the surrounding communities and provide survival kits for those in need.
Giving Grace Boutique, which opened in March 2021, is a retail entity but all of the sales revenue helps fund the work of Snuggle Sacks. “We acquired the building in Linden to use as a warehouse for our Snuggle Sacks supplies,” Daul explains. But the building was set up as a retail store and at that time, Snuggle Sacks was struggling to get donations, she adds. “The year 2020 was a struggle for us because donations were affected by the pandemic.” She bought the boutique using her own funds and started the retail business. “We thought it could be a good source of cash flow for Snuggle Sacks,” Daul reports, “and it has worked like a charm.”
“All proceeds from Giving Grace Boutique fund our nonprofit, and we are so thankful.”
At Giving Grace Boutique, you will find a variety of apparel, home decor, local food/snacks, hats, winter gear, jewelry, BruMate products and items crafted by local artisans. “It’s all brand-new merchandise,” says Daul, adding that they sell a wide range of Michigan-made products. The boutique has wholesale partners, including Simply Southern.
According to Daul, their entire family is involved with the boutique. Addisyn, now a Linden High School student, works at the store after school and cousins also help out there. Addisyn’s dad, Jason Goss, opens the store every day. Sheridan oversees a chapter of Snuggle Sacks in Saginaw and keeps the organization’s website up and running. Jaxson handles the orders from the shelters and the delivery of survival kits. Snuggle Sacks is partnered with shelters all over the Lower Peninsula. “It’s a family affair for sure!” Daul exclaims. “The kids call me the manager. I do the payroll and oversee everything.”
The back room of the boutique is used to store the supplies needed to make the Snuggle Sacks. Addisyn is able to fill the sacks and work the retail aspect of the business at the same time. Once a month, a group of volunteers assembles sacks at the warehouse in the store. In the winter months, they usually give out 1,200 Snuggle Sacks and 700 during the summer.
Giving Grace Boutique has been strongly supported by the community, says Daul. Allen Ryckman, who runs Community Threads, a nonprofit store in Fenton, has been very helpful. “The retail store is run by kids and he has given them a lot of advice,” Daul notes. And it has been rewarding for her to watch her kids, who started Snuggle Sacks at such a young age, grow over the past few years. “It’s been pretty cool to see their transformation.”
Addisyn started Snuggle Sacks seven years ago to honor the homeless after learning her grandfather was homeless. “Since he passed away, my siblings and I have worked hard to keep it going, and we help nearly 1,200 homeless people each month,” she explains. “It is something we are honored to do, and we couldn’t do it without the support of the community, and especially those who support our store, Giving Grace Boutique. All proceeds from the store run our nonprofit, and we are so thankful.”
“It has been a game-changer for us,” says Daul. “Giving Grace Boutique provides $100 a day to purchase the supplies we need to continue our mission.”