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Rahabs Rope to open Mall of Georgia retail site
Nonprofit shop directs proceeds to stop human trafficking in India
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Bracelets are displayed Friday at Rahab’s Rope in downtown Gainesville. The store will open a second location at the Mall of Georgia in Buford. - photo by Erin O. Smith

A popular retail store on the Gainesville square with a mission to stop human trafficking is growing its reach in North Georgia.

Rahab’s Rope, a nonprofit that creates opportunities for women and girls in India to escape the commercial sex trade, is opening a new retail store at the Mall of Georgia in Buford. Its current store is at 118 Washington St SW.

“We’d talked about having another store for years,” founder Vicki Moore said. “People are always asking us if we have different stores in different places. David, my husband, and I were kidding around at the mall one day and said, ‘I wonder what it’d be like to have a store here?’”

Moore said, on a whim, her husband called the mall and inquired about store openings. Not only was one space becoming available, but the mall had already stopped by Rahab’s Rope in Gainesville with an interest in bringing its products to Buford.

“It was just a thing of timing,” Moore said. “A door was opened for us and everything fell into place pretty quickly.”

The store will open late next week, Moore said, though the exact date has not been set and depends on a few technical difficulties. It will be located on the lower level, two doors down from the Starbucks, she said.

The nonprofit works through centers in four major cities in India to provide basic education and vocational training for girls and women with the ultimate hope of allowing them to integrate into their communities in a positive and constructive manner.

“We’re in our 13th year and we work with women and children in India that are either at risk or have been rescued from sex trafficking,” Moore said. “About 35 percent of our product is actually made by the women we work with.”

The store also stocks fair trade products made in the U.S. and internationally. Products include jewelry, handbags and accessories made by the women, coffee and chocolate from Africa and Central America, pottery from Morocco and olive wood items from Jordan.

Moore said the nonprofit’s model is twofold: to give the women work and to fund the ministry in India.

She hopes the second location will help raise awareness of Rahab’s Rope and its work both here and abroad.

“Selling product is really more than about just selling product,” she said. “It’s to build human trafficking awareness in people, and not just in India but worldwide. By being able to share our story and what we do, it invites more people to join us in India if anyone is interested. Because we have so many different areas, from product development to marking to being on the ground, working with women and children, it offers many areas and opportunities for people to go there.

“Just being able to share opens more opportunities for people to go there and do volunteer work with us as well.”