By Lisa Truesdale
Some people plan and dream for years about starting a small business. Jordan Lewis, however, fell into it accidentally.
“I left my sales career to help my mother with her nonprofit,” says Lewis, who owns The Restoration Initiative in Lafayette with his wife, Liz, and his sister Ricci Harke. “She took me to India, and I fell in love with the place, with her cause, and with the idea of trying to make something out of this opportunity.”
Lewis’s mother, Brenda, founded Child Restoration International, which helps rescue children in India at risk of sex trafficking. Inspired by his mother’s work, Lewis discovered a cause within a cause—selling quality, ethically sourced goods imported from India and then using the proceeds to help fund the important work of CRI.
Jordan, Liz and Ricci opened TRI in Lafayette in 2013 and quickly outgrew their space. This September, they moved to the historic Peltier house, built in 1900, located three blocks north of their original location. Besides gifts, accessories and jewelry from India, the store sells a variety of vintage treasures sourced by Ricci. A smaller area off the main room offers artisanal goods imported from Malawi and Zambia by Dsenyo, a Lafayette-based organization with a similar vision to TRI’s.
“Our success is measured by our impact,” Lewis says, adding that, although TRI supports important causes, they want their products to stand on their own. “We want people to buy something because they love it,” he says. “Feeling good about the purchase is a bonus.”