A dream six years in the making, Treasures 4 Humanity was born from a mother’s dream and a daughter’s actions.
Diane Miller, 40, has dreamed of owning an online boutique for years, but found the prospect of starting the business daunting.
Her eldest daughter, Bella, 12, had no such reservations.
After hearing her mom talking again about her dream and, thinking that owning a business would be fun, Bella decided to jump start the process and make the dream a reality.
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“She disappeared for half an hour and came back with all these lists and websites,” Miller said of her daughter’s research.
I just always wanted to start a business. I thought it would be cool to have an online boutique. I kept pushing her that we had to do it.
Bella Miller, co-founder of Treasures 4 Humanity
“I just always wanted to start a business. I thought it would be cool to have an online boutique,” Bella said. “I kept pushing her that we had to do it.”
Research in hand, Miller and Bella began to set up their boutique, officially launching Treasures 4 Humanity on Feb. 2.
“It kind of triggered something,” Miller said of Bella’s research and enthusiasm. “If she believed I could do it, then why can’t I? She pushed me to the next step.”
The boutique features a variety of products, with most of the small business merchants discovered through friend or family connections. One of the connections lead to a featured product in the boutique: handmade soaps made in Washington by the sister of Bella’s teacher at Harbor Dance.
“I wanted something unique,” Miller said of the soaps, which range in scents from Lemon Poppyseed to Organic Oat Milk.
It kind of triggered something. If (Bella) believed I could do it, then why can’t I? She pushed me to the next step.
Diane Miller, founder of Treasures 4 Humanity
The boutique even has a specialty soap, called “Glimmers of Hope,” made from Inca berries and swirled on top with 24-karat gold mica.
The other featured product, also beauty items, are Sarah’s Sweet Scrubs, a line of body scrubs, bath salts, body creams and lotion bars made in Kauai, Hawaii.
Along with the beauty items, the boutique features swimwear from a small business just launched from Portland in October, and it is introducing a new vendor this spring, Super Love Tees, that sells apparel from raw materials obtained from sweat-shop free, U.S.-based companies.
With her desire to support small businesses, Miller also stands behind all the products her boutique sells because she uses them herself.
“I’m a big believer in testing it out before we sell it,” she said. “Quality for us is important.”
Presentation is one of the key aspects of Treasures 4 Humanity, Miller said, with each order carefully wrapped in tissue paper and shipped in a careful cushioning of crinkled paper.
It’s all about the presentation. We want it to be like a treasure box. I want to have kind of a fun experience for the customer. I want the whole thing to be an experience.
“It’s all about the presentation,” she said. “We want it to be like a treasure box. I want to have kind of a fun experience for the customer. I want the whole thing to be an experience.”
Along with the three small businesses featured by the boutique, Treasures 4 Humanity also carries clothing and jewelery purchased from the fashion district in Los Angeles, until small, local businesses can be found to fill this niche.
“I practice the boutique thing of not much stuff,” Miller said. “It it sells out, that’s it.”
While the products and business are important to Bella and Miller, the real drive behind the business is their dedication to philanthropy. Currently, 10 percent of every purchase made at Treasures 4 Humanity is donated, with the proceeds split evenly between the three organizations chosen by Bella and Miller. The three charities currently chosen as the recipients of the boutique’s donation are:
▪ Strong Against Cancer, a children’s cancer research initiative from Seattle Children’s Hospital
▪ Polaris Project, an organization that fights human trafficking
▪ Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF)
“We figured maybe, if we can help in any way, that would be a great thing to do,” Miller said.
Miller’s goal this year is to increase the donation amount for Treasures 4 Humanity to 20 percent, and to find more local businesses to feature in the boutique.
My big goal and dream would be for people to think of the boutique’s philanthropy. It’s a passion and a dream of mine for a long time to combine philanthropy and business. It’s perfect for me.
“Our goal is to get awareness for the different foundations we’re involved in,” Miller said.
Miller and her family have lived in Gig Harbor for three years. Her husband, Martin, is a pilot for United and, recently, a real estate agent, and they have two children younger than Bella: Reece, 8, and Sienna, 4.
Bella, a student at Goodman Middle School and a dancer at Harbor Dance, helps with the boutique she co-founded whenever she has a spare moment.
“I try to help out whenever I can,” she said. “I like to put the stamps on the boxes (and) I also really like organizing all the clothes.”
With the business just beginning, staying true to their philanthropy goal is important to Miller.
“My big goal and dream would be for people to think of the boutique’s philanthropy,” she said. “It’s a passion and a dream of mine for a long time to combine philanthropy and business. It’s perfect for me.”
Treasures 4 Humanity can be found online at www.treasures4humanity.com.