The Mint Bee seeks ways to raise awareness of human trafficking
Senior youth ministry major, Anna Walters, is an artist and more recently, a businesswoman. She is the founder and creator of The Mint Bee, a creative company that is innovatively seeking solutions and awareness to the issue of human trafficking.
The Mint Bee gets its name from a pretty pair of mint shoes and a friend with the nickname “busy bee.” Both friends of Walters and the inspiration behind her business, these individuals had been involved with sex trafficking in some way.
“For me, the name tells about my journey to enlightenment with sex trafficking,” Walters said. “I love it even more because it’s such a significant journey of me humanizing a statistic that left me, and so many others frozen.”
The prompting of The Mint Bee comes from a story close to Walters’ heart. “I started this business after learning that one of my dearest friends, Katie, was being trafficked from our small town in Ohio,” Walters said. “I realized human trafficking wasn’t just this third world narrative, but rather it’s happening in our own backyards.” She calls the statistic of 22 million men, women and children currently victims of trafficking, “daunting.”
Although The Mint Bee has been an idea for quite some time, it took shape in September of 2016. Walters inruns it all. “I’m the founder, artist, marketing specialist, and whatever other shoes need to be filled in along the way, “she says.
Walters believes this is a business meant for collaboration. “Right now we have some exciting collaborations underway. Eventually the goal is to be a web of people with the same heart, to creatively combat human trafficking and work together to see change happen here in Minneapolis,” Walters said.
The products featured on The Mint Bee’s online shop are prints of acrylic paintings, all originals of Walters, some hand carved stamps on book pages, and stickers and buttons with The Mint Bee logo on them. Ten percent of the sales go directly to local nonprofits. Eventually, she hopes to sell the work of other artists.
Eventually, Walters hopes to travel with her art and share the story of her friends who were trapped in human trafficking.
“I believe that we aren’t going to see this modern day form of slavery ended, until people are efficiently informed about the harsh reality that sex trafficking is going on in our own back yards,” Walters said. “If The Mint Bee continues to grow, I would love to make this a career move. Otherwise, I will continue to make art as a side gig, tell people about Katie’s story and give a percentage of proceeds to local organizations that are helping to rescue people from sex trafficking.”
Walters has sold her work at Ohio Youth Convention and even has had a booth at Praise Gathering. She also uses Instagram as a selling platform.
To view products and learn more about The Mint Bee, visit www.themintbee.com