ANNOUNCING THE WOMAN OF THE MONTH
Fort Worth women are making headlines daily as business owners, entrepreneurs, top management officers, and political leaders. So, here at Fort Worth Woman, we are selecting one of our city’s shining stars each month. These are the movers and shakers you need to know, and we are proud to honor their accomplishments as our WOMEN OF THE MONTH.
Candle Production Manager at The Worthy Co.
The first time Arletta saw products she had hand-poured for sale in a retail store, with pride in her heart and tears in her eyes she said under her breath, “I made that.”
Meet February’s Fort Worth Woman!
Arletta Grant is a fierce woman who has taken her season of struggles and turned them into her own personal triumph. She has a heart for motivating others to live their best life and to work hard, even when in unfamiliar territory. Listening to Arletta and her story, you can’t help but see her gifts of strength and tenacity.
Arletta grew up on the Southside of Fort Worth and from the age of 11, her home was filled with both physical and sexual abuse from relatives which put her in and out of foster care. At the age of 13 Arletta ran away and as a result, she was passed around from foster homes to then group homes and eventually to juvenile detention. “I’ve been in and out of jail for numerous things with prostitution being part of my lifestyle,” said Arletta. At this point in her life, she truly believed that the only way she could earn love and acceptance was through sex. “I believe every one of us was lookin’ for love in the wrong places,” she said. Arletta was enslaved to men and then to her addiction for three decades.
In 2012 while in jail, Arletta entered into the Rise program, a Tarrant County Prostitution Diversion Program, and received rehabilitation support while serving her prison sentence. Early on in the program she was introduced to The NET, a local ‘NETwork’ for those who have fallen and need help getting back on their feet. The Net was founded out of Christ Chapel Fort Worth’s college ministry in 2009 as an outreach program targeting the local refugee and homeless communities. Their purpose lies with the people in that they aren’t here to give things out. They are here to take people in.
Arletta received jail outreach support from her NET advocate, was able to get into counseling, and stayed sober for four years before graduating from the program in 2016. She now knows the value of who she is and that “we’re worth a whole lot more than we’re allowing men to give us. There’s so much more to life than standing on a street corner.”
After years of working with sexually exploited women like Arletta, The Net saw a problem in the transition of the women from rehabilitation to employment. They noticed that “In the state of Texas, four prostitution charges equals a felony permanently on your record. That means that instead of being viewed as a victim of sexual exploitation, the women are seen as criminals by potential employers.” This is why The Worthy Co. was created. The Worthy Co. provides an opportunity for these women to earn employment experience at a living wage by making candles and jewelry.
After all of her hard work, “I now have my own apartment and am reunited with my four kids and three grandkids,” Arletta said beaming. She has used her story for positive change by sharing her experience and creating awareness at multiple events and trainings. She also plays a consistent role in her involvement with all events put on by The NET. Arletta’s goal now is to help raise awareness in our city and to let “other ladies who are out there know there’s a better life.”
Most recently, Arletta was hired as The Worthy Co’s Candle Production Manager and has held this position for the past nine months. She organizes, creates, and hand pours each of the divine candles that are currently for sale. The first time Arletta saw products she had hand-poured for sale in a retail store, with pride in her heart and tears in her eyes she said under her breath, “I made that.”
After living in The Fort for so long, and seeing how it’s changed, we asked Arletta what she loved about this city. She answered, “I love the people here. They are unique, fabulous, and very outgoing. I like how when they are set on doing something they get the job done!” From 2012 to today, Arletta has seen the heart of Fort Worth change. She has witnessed hard work, caring hearts, and changing perceptions towards a mutual goal of healing and help. This town has a heart for its people.
As a new businesswoman with a backstory of backstories, we asked Arletta what word described her impact on our city. “Courage,” she said. “To have the willpower to start something that is unfamiliar and stick with it.” She is courage. She is bravery. Her work, along with who she is, is worthy of every ounce of praise.
Arletta, thank you for your courage, hard work, and for sharing your experience to positively impact the future of another. To The Net, thank you for providing the resources and commitment to place value on every woman in our Fort Worth Community. And thank you to those who made The Worthy Co. exist. As we can see with Arletta and so many other women, this employment opportunity is empowering and impactful-and to top it off, smells amazing!
To purchase your own The Worthy Co candle, poured by Arletta herself, visit https://worthy-co.com.