“Let’s get it!” Shinichi “Nichi” Hamilton says to her colleague, Phyllis. It’s become a bit of a catch phrase.
You see, Nichi has found her niche - creating beautiful products with a spirit of positivity and joy that is evident by a twinkle in her eye and pep in her step when there’s work to be done. “Gettin’ it” captures how Nichi does her work: with contagious enthusiasm and extraordinary diligence.
It hasn’t always been this way for Nichi. Nichi came to Franciscan Peacemakers in February 2020 and was a bit of a wallflower for several months. She was quiet and reserved - a woman of few words during our weekly Candlelighting (reflection) time and who quietly did what was asked of her in the soap shop.
But eventually, as her responsibilities increased in the social enterprise and as new ladies came into the Clare Community, Nichi started to come alive. Deacon Steve fondly remembers a morning when he came in to find Nichi telling him what she had already prepared for the production schedule that day. Soon after that, when a new woman entered Clare Community and was attending her first Candlelighting gathering, it was Nichi who stepped up to help the new resident learn the ropes.
“I started to feel a sense of belonging - you know, when you come to work and people are telling you all the things you need to take care of and get done, well, at some point, I started to realize ‘Oh, wow… take care of yourself Nichi, you can’t afford to get sick, because you have stuff to do, people are counting on you!’”
And indeed we are counting on her. This year alone, Franciscan Peacemakers is selling products at over 100 events and has added 30 new retail partners. In February, Nichi took on the Production Manager role - overseeing the production schedule, training new staff, filling all the orders, developing new products, and selling up a storm at markets and events.
“I look forward to waking up in the morning to get to work. I feel privileged and special to find something that I like doing and that makes a difference in people’s lives. Working brings me so much joy,” Nichi says, a note of relief in her voice.
And that joy spills over. It was with profound happiness that the community gathered on October 1 to celebrate our 27th anniversary and to publicly recognize Shinichi Hamilton for her completion of the Clare Community program.
Mary Leach-Sumlin, Director of Clare Community, prepared this statement to mark the day:
Franciscan Peacemakers’ Administrative Staff along with the Board of Directors
acknowledge that Shinichi L Hamilton has completed the requirements of the
two-year residential program for Clare Community.
During her two-year residency, Shinichi has
- regained the trust and respect of her family and friends.
- Identified and addressed credit and legal barriers
- Admirably and notably, she has served as an example to the women we serve on the street, at the Hospitality Center, and new residents of Clare Community.
Lastly, she has served in a leadership capacity at the Franciscan Peacemakers Social Enterprise (FPSE) where she holds the position of Production Manager.
We thank you Shinichi for having the courage and faith to hold yourself
accountable for the rest of your life.
And what about her time with Franciscan Peacemakers has meant the most to Nichi? The second chance she feels she’s getting to be a positive, loving presence in her kids’ and grandkids’ lives. When a woman heals, that healing has a ripple effect on those she cares for and generations can be affected for the good. Just like in the soap shop - the peace and all good is plentiful… let’s get it!
All November, take 33% off the bath + body products Shinichi crafts for you using code ALLGOOD! (Online only, doesn't apply to merchandise or wood dough bowls, expires Nov 30, 2022)