Have you ever been to a place and immediately felt something warm and inviting about it? This happened to me the other day while doing some Christmas shopping at a store called Altar’d State at my local mall. I was drawn by its beautiful boho-chic style clothing, the many unique jewelry pieces and accessories, infinity scarves, and even wall art with sayings like “Leave It At The Cross” or biblical verses. However, what really impressed me about this store is that they were playing Christmas music. Yes, Christmas, not “holiday” but music sharing the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
I decided to do a little research and contact the store headquarters and found out that Altar’d State is about much more than the beautiful things it sells. It’s a Christian company built on its faith and desire to give to others and is living up to not only its title but its logo of “Stand Out. For Good.”
JK: I read in the store’s history that the owners wanted to create a “Christian shopping experience.” I felt that while I was shopping. Is this still one of your main goals and how do you try and achieve this?
Altar’d State: Our faith has been the back bone for our give back mission and how we treat our guests, those really are our main goals. Yes, we are a christian company and most christians pick up on that while shopping at our store. However, we like to think that no matter what your religion is, you can feel at home at Altar’d State. Our purpose is to provide an inspiring retail experience that makes a positive impact on our communities through our give back programs and charitable missions locally and globally. At Altar’d State we are bringing together our love for fashion and caring for others. Our stores are filled with the latest trends in fashion apparel, home decor and accessories that make you look great on the outside while feeling good about your purchase on the inside.
JK: Your logo says “Stand Out. For Good.” How do you think you stand out in the fashion industry?
Altar’d State: We are here to fill a gap in the fashion industry by bringing fashion, faith and giving in to mainstream fashion culture. We stand out through the emphasis we put on our charitable missions and through the care we give to our customers. We also stand out by choosing not to hide our faith and to use our christian beliefs to create a warm and welcoming shopping experience for everyone. Our logo “Stand out. For good.” is not only to show that we proudly stand out, but to inspire our guests to join in our movement.
JK: I am so impressed with your mission/charity focus. What are you most proud of in your focus of giving back?
Altar’d State: We are proud of all of our giveback efforts…. However, we have a special spot in our hearts for our children in Peru. Each store and home office associates (that have been with the company a year or more) sponsor a child in Peru. Currently, Altar’d State sponsors 93 children in need and we add more after each quarter. These sponsorships provide the children with a school uniform (which allows them to attend school), two nutritious meals a day, tutoring, after-school care and counseling. To ensure a brighter future for these children, we are funding a $201,000 construction project to build a high school and social center in Cañete, Peru (most of the children are forced to stop their education at age 13 because the closest high school is an hour drive from them and they don’t have transportation). The high school will also serve as a disaster relief center for the local community. To date, we have $932,573 to charitable missions.
JK: What are Mission Mondays?
Altar’d State: Mission Monday’s give to local charities. Each month we pick a focus issue (children, veterans, homeless, animals etc.) and we allow our stores to find and choose a local non-profit charity that fits with our focus cause. Once the charity is selected, we donate 10% of the days proceeds from each Monday during the duration of that month. Last month we focused on feeding the hungry and donated a total of $48,070 to local charities. This month we are sponsoring non-profits that help the homeless.
JK: I noticed on your website you feature a prayer request link. This is unique for a fashion website. Do you have people asking for prayer and do you correspond with people regarding their requests?
Altar’d State: Yes! We also have a prayer request book in all of our fitting rooms in every store. The online prayer requests are emailed to the home office and each morning we send out a list of the prayers to all of our associates (at all locations and at the home office). We also print them out and place them in our break areas. We are firm believers in the power of prayer!
JK: Can you explain the name Altar’d State?
Altar’d State: Altar was inspired by a church altar. Our name, Altar’d State, was inspired by our movement to be a fashion forward, faith based, give-back retail store that stands out. We are here to leave an everlasting impact on the fashion industry and on the lives of those in need on a local and global scale.
It’s not every day that you find such a unique store like Altar’d State that mixes faith and fashion. In a society that seems to be increasingly hostile to the Christian faith, Altar’d State stands out for good. They are overtly Christian but not to proselytize but to just live out who they are in the world of fashion and merchandise. They are a growing chain of 50 stores with the newest opening on January 7th in Jacksonville, Florida. Check them out at your local mall or go on-line at http://www.altardstate.com/ and see for yourself why Altar’d State stands out in the world of fashion and how they are making a difference through their faith in God.