Friends of RJE: Purposeful Design

RJE frequently partners with an Indianapolis-based organization that is very near and dear to our hearts, Purposeful Design.

Since 2013, Purposeful Design’s mission has been to help rebuild lives of individuals broken by addiction or homelessness by equipping them with valuable skills through the gift of work. While learning the art of woodworking and furniture making, their team members embrace encouragement, discipleship and faith to find success in their lives and at work. We sat down with Margaret Carter, their Sales Director, to learn a little bit more about the company and their aim for the community.

What is Purposeful Design and what do you do?

Margaret: Purposeful Design is a fully-functioning wood shop specializing in handmade furniture made from rough cut, Indiana hardwoods. We employ and train men who have been without a home or who find it difficult to get a job – helping rebuild lives while teaching the craft of woodworking through positive and encouraging mentorship. We design and build a variety of furniture, each handmade by our skilled craftsmen. Much like the wood we use, each piece of furniture is unique and behind it is a special story of a life restored.

Where did the idea behind Purposeful Design originate?

Margaret: Our founder, David Palmer, was going to Wheeler Mission to pray with the men they serve and he kept hearing “I want a job.”  Based on their prayers, he decided to build an organization that would employ men to build furniture.

Why is giving back through business important to you?

Margaret: We are a faith-based organization and want to be the hands and feet of Jesus. At PD, we want to bring more people to Him and change as many lives as possible.

How has working with RJE impacted your business?

Margaret: RJE is incredible to work with! They really support our mission and look for opportunities to get us involved on as many projects as possible.  RJE has sent many projects our way and that income has allowed us to hire more craftsmen and change more lives. We love RJE!

What is your favorite project that you’ve completed for RJE so far?

Margaret: We recently partnered on CEDIA’s new headquarters, which won Best in Show at the 2019 IIDA IDEA Awards. Erika Earl brought that project to us and was amazing to work with!

What does the future look like for Purposeful Design?

Margaret: We want to grow our business and expand our territories. The bigger we get, the more men we can hire and hopefully change their lives for the better. We also hope to take Purposeful Design to another state.

Learn more about Purposeful Design and their incredible story here.

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