Magnolia business owners to start nonprofit helping disadvantaged women

After six years of running their own for-profit business, David and Jessica Sottilare, founders of Creative Christians in Magnolia, are planning to start up a more philanthropic endeavor. The husband and wife duo are working with Freedom Place—a recovery center for victims of child sex trafficking—to provide young girls and women an opportunity to work with crafts and learn new skills.

"We wanted to do something that would have a bigger impact, and we wanted to involve children because that has always been close to my heart," Jessica said. "This is an issue that is rarely brought to light, so we thought we could help these girls while also raising awareness of a serious problem."

The Sottilares plan to offer an array of crafting classes to Freedom Place residents, involving handmade jewelry, painting and woodworking. The classes are intended to be therapeutic, but finished crafts will also be sold at a Creative Christians shop online at a retail price. The money raised goes back to support Freedom Place.

As the nonprofit's founders, the Sottilares will lead several of the classes, but many will be taught by vendors whom they've worked with through their business. The first class will be taught by a local pottery vendor, Cathleen Disney, and will likely take place this summer.

"A lot of people have stepped forward and said they would love to help with the nonprofit," Jessica said.

The nonprofit Creative Christians will be a separate entity from the Sottilare's for-profit business, which will be known as Trinity Fine Jewelry moving forward. Trinity Fine Jewelry will continue to run from both of its current locations.

The Sottilares filed paperwork with the government seeking recognition as a 501c3 nonprofit and hope to hear back within the next few months. Jessica said they will proceed whether they are recognized.

"We have a clientele of business owners who want to donate, and they would like a [tax] write-off if possible," she said. "A 501c3 would really help get more of those people to come forward, but we can still be our own nonprofit supporting these women and children regardless."

Long-term goals for Creative Christians involve reaching the point where the girls can earn their own income by selling their crafts, or through other skills, such as jewelry repair and restoration. Jessica said she would also like to see students become teachers, creating a cycle where women recover from their traumatic experiences and can help those who have been through similar things.

"We want to find out what their talents and passions are and help fulfill them," Jessica said. "We're going to start small, but we hope that this will grow over time into something that can be self-sustaining. We're excited to get started."

In addition to David and Jessica Sottilare, several other key members of the Creative Christians board of directors have helped get the organization off the ground:

Rebecca Jones, executive director

Rebecca Konvica, spiritual adviser

Tommie Shepard, accounting

Donna Caldwell, merchandising adviser

Jeremy Brake, web designer/operator

Tony Roberts, legal adviser

By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.


Lone Star College plans to partially open 26 buildings beginning June 1. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lone Star College System discusses reopening plan for June 1

Lone Star College plans to partially open 26 of its buildings June 1, prioritizing health science buildings.

(Designed by Matthew T. Mills)
Tomball, Magnolia uninsured rate to grow following layoffs; state sees calls for expanding health care coverage

More than 22,400 residents within the five Tomball and Magnolia ZIP codes are uninsured, according to 2018 five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, which totals 14% of the population.

Churches in Tomball and Magnolia have opted to livestream services in order to reach more of their members. (Dylan Sherman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Tomball, Magnolia churches find new ways to worship during pandemic

As churches start to reopen for worship, they have chosen to remain cautious about large gatherings.

Outdoor venues in all Texas counties will be permitted to operate at up to 25% capacity starting May 31. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Spectators to be welcomed back to Texas outdoor sporting events May 31 at 25% of venue capacity

Venue owners must operate under guidelines that facilitate appropriate social distancing.

In terms of county health in 2020, Montgomery County ranked among the top 15 on length of life and quality of life.
Health Care Snapshot 2020: Montgomery County ranks in top 10 in Texas for health outcomes

In 2020 county health rankings, Montgomery County ranked among the top 15 counties in Texas in the length of life and quality of life categories.

Volunteers pack boxes of food at the Montgomery County Food Bank. (Courtesy Montgomery County Food Bank)
Montgomery County nonprofits receive $235,000 through Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund

The funding was part of an $8.2 million distribution to dozens of nonprofits in the region announced May 28.

Students enrolled in the University of Houston College of Nursing can take classes at the Sugar Land campus. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)
Q&A: UH College of Nursing dean reflects on how coronavirus has affected education, profession

Kathryn Tart, dean of the University of Houston’s College of Nursing, spoke with Community Impact Newspaper about how the novel coronavirus is changing the way the university is educating nursing students.

Houston Methodist researchers conducted a 25-patient trial in March and April to examine the safety of convalescent plasma transfusions as a possible treatment for COVID-19. (Courtesy Houston Methodist)
Greater Houston-area health systems examine plasma transfusion as possible COVID-19 treatment

The experimental therapy involves the transfer of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients to those who are currently symptomatic.

The Texas National Guard assisted Inspiration Ranch with its expansion project May 18. (Courtesy of Inspiration Ranch)
Texas National Guard assists Magnolia-based equine therapy center with expansion project

Inspiration Ranch, an equine therapy center located in Magnolia, was assisted by the Texas National Guard with construction needs May 18, according to a news release.

Each eligible child will receive $285 in benefits. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Some Texas students eligible for one-time federal benefit to aid with food purchases

Texas received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide more than $1 billion in pandemic food benefits.

Montgomery County commissioners criticized the lawsuit between Conroe Mayor Toby Powell and two tax officials of the county. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Montgomery County commissioners criticize Conroe Mayor Powell's lawsuit against tax officials

Montgomery County Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Meador called the lawsuit a “political posturing move.”