Story By: Katrice Williams
Photos By: Nelson LaPorte
“You truly understand what it is to give when you can’t get something in return.”
arrie Rouse is the owner of BoldSoul Boutique at the Tanger Outlets in Pooler. Carrie has lived in the local area for some time now, along with her husband Clint and their three children, Hailey-17, Kayla-12 and Kelby-11.
In addition to a degree in psychology, Carrie accumulated a variety of notable experience over the years. Whether working in retail, at Gulfstream Aerospace, or even pursuing various marketing-related endeavors, Carrie’s extraordinary work ethic is undeniable. She immensely credits her dad Wayne and stepmom Hazel for it.
“We were always raised to work hard and to reap the benefits of our hard work,” Carrie comments. Being raised on a small family farm definitely provided a fair share of work each day.
Additionally, Carrie benefited from attending various marketing and management courses over the years. Many focused on individual passions and exploring personal motivating factors. Hence, Carrie wanted to pursue those things in life that she was most passionate about. She remembers one conversation in particular with a past manager who pointed a bottle of ketchup out to her.
‘If you can sell this bottle of ketchup like nobody has sold it before, then you can sell anything and you can do anything,’ he declared. That proved to be quite an empowering revelation for Carrie. She learned to look at all of her objectives, big or small, as completely attainable goals with the right amount of effort.
She asserts, “That really put a fire in my belly—talking about passions and what makes our fire burn. That was always my goal—how can I make this ‘ketchup bottle’ different than any other.”
Following extensive career and market research, and countless prayers, Carrie decided to open a boutique. She feels incredibly grateful that her husband Clint supported her dream every step of the way. He has been an inspiring blessing in her life, helping her turn her visions into beautiful realities. Clint felt that Carrie had found a great niche in the market; moreover, he knew that her purpose was faith-based and believed that in itself was priceless.
Carrie has long encompassed an outgoing, personable and beautifully bold personality. What’s more, she always wanted to make a meaningful difference in the world…a difference with a focus on helping others. Prior to opening her boutique, Carrie planned for it to be a “fair trade business,” where profits from the business would be shared to support worthy need-based causes.
As a fair trade business, or “give back company,” a percentage of each sale at BoldSoul goes to support a cause close to Carrie’s heart—to aid the children in Haiti. She appreciates her customers who see the value in making purchases or even giving donations for the phenomenal cause.
Carrie states, “It’s worth it just knowing the kind of impact we make on people. Not only that, they’re also making an impact on our business in making these children’s lives a little bit easier in their giving and their purchasing through this store. They really do make a difference. There’s a purpose behind every purchase in this store, and it’s to feed and clothe these guys.” Carrie, who does mission work, knows first-hand of the Haitian people’s plight and the relevance of every cent.
As she has “always wanted to help more,” Carrie started mission trips earlier in life, but none inspired her quite as much as her visits to Haiti, some taking place shortly after the devastating 2010 earthquake which displaced over 1 million people. It was directly responsible for hundreds of thousands of casualties. Carrie was both touched and whole-heartedly disturbed by the people’s struggle; she sought opportunities to be an instrument of aid.
“I knew that I loved the Haitian people. I knew that I loved the culture. I knew that I loved to go. I wanted to help more…I wanted to do more,” she mentions.
Carrie, indeed, did more. She joined Church Quake International, a small non-profit organization devoted to assisting those in need through their missions around the world. In fact, one of the two founding leaders was her childhood pastor.
Carrie explains that a mere “$25 buys a bag of rice that can feed a family for a month.” Whether donations are used to buy rice, a much needed generator, or clothing, Carrie has found that even a small gesture is a mountainous act to the Haitian people; there is no amount of giving that’s too small.
“Whether it’s one or two meals a day, they’re still being sustained. They have something to eat. People don’t realize—these people have nothing. They don’t have a system to help like America…we are the system. This store is the system. The organization that I’m with is the system. This is real; this is true. I just want to make a difference in whatever community we eventually go in. Wherever God leads us, I want to make a difference. To love God is to love people…that means everybody. That just doesn’t mean who you pick and choose,” she emphasizes.
Carrie, along with the Church Quake group, set up an orphanage. Contributions and aid from the group is responsible for its complete operation, which includes supplying meals, linens, proper medications and any other needed items.
Carrie and the other missionaries hope to “transition the children back to their families” whenever they can be properly cared for, those whose parents did not perish in the earthquake or from other circumstances. The group also began a Bible school for the children, which has proven to be a success.
Concerning the Bible school, Carrie admits, “We’re trying to get them fed tangibly, but we’re trying to get them fed spiritually as well.”
Carrie is excited about the hope that they are helping to bring to the communities of people who have often lived in an array of hopelessness and adversity.
She notes, “We’re trying to be a seed…just making a difference in people’s lives.
We try to love on the children because their parents aren’t there to love on them. We try to meet as many needs as we can. It’s the purpose behind the passion.”
Through it all, Carrie is happy that she can help to “save lives and change lives.”
After her fulfilling mission trips or even after a nice day’s work in her store, Carrie’s biggest hobby is going home to spend time with her family. She even considers it to be a “nice get-away.” Further, she appreciates all the kindness and support of her family, friends and team at BoldSoul who believe in her mission and continue to help “make her dreams come true.”
“I have a good support group of friends and family,” she insists.
Carrie is determined to maintain a warm and inviting atmosphere inside her store, allowing customers to feel right at home. Whether paintings, t-shirts, mugs or jewelry, customers are surrounded by countless products exemplifying hope and inspiration.
Carrie goes on to say, “Follow your passion. Haiti is my passion…people are my passion…being an inspiration is my passion. We’re all here for a purpose. You truly understand what it is to give when someone can’t give you something in return. I love that type of giving.”