Thistle Farms founder Becca Stevens returns to the Peninsula this weekend

by Linda Hubbard on September 20, 2023

Author, speaker, Episcopal priest, social entrepreneur and founder of Thistle Farm, the Rev. Becca Stevens is making a return visit to the Bay Area this weekend. She founded Magdalene in 1997 — now called Thistle Farms — to heal, empower, and employ female survivors of human trafficking, prostitution, and addiction.

A group of Peninsula women including Menlo Park resident Timi Most and Portola Valley resident Lynn Pieron, helped organize the visit.

Becca will be having “teatime conversations” at 2:00 and 4:00 pm on Saturday, September 23, at the Schmidt Family Office (1010 Alma St., Menlo Park) with a Popup Market from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. RSVP online.

On Sunday, September 24, she will be preaching at Trinity Church (330 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park) at the 10:00 am service with a second Popup Market from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. All are welcome.

In advance of her visit, we talked with her about what she’s learned over the past 26 years, what is universally common in women’s stories, and how the products sold at the Pop Up markets create dignified employment for women and funding for programs worldwide.

The biggest takeaway, she said is that it takes a village to raise up a community of women. “It’s a village of people who believe that love heals.

“And it happens all over the world. Women great you with song and dance, and you feel their amazing journey to get to joy. Their stories are often heartbreaking, but they’ve found their rightful place as healers, gaining meaning and purpose in their lives.”

The women survivors make a variety of products — bath and body care, home goods, clothing and jewelry — that you can’t get anywhere else. “When you come to the markets, you are buying not just products but the stories of women survivors, ” said Becca. “Plus you can check off your gift list for the rest of the year!”

She added: “Our team that is coming is super excited. We have made important  connections in Menlo Park and Palo Alto — people are so welcoming.”

Photo courtesy of Thistle Farms

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