A life lived beautifully - honoring Calli Aust

Calli Aust

 

Our local community and the Bought Beautifully family was dealt a heartbreaking loss this week. Our beloved Calli Aust was an exceptionally bright light and the world seems darker with her tragic passing.  

Knowing Calli was knowing a dynamic and entirely singular individual. She treated everyone and every task with the utmost care, consideration, and authenticity. Excellence was her standard and love - her approach.

Her life was a literal example of living out love…she did this exceptionally well, shining God’s love and truth through her everyday actions with deep conviction and focused intention.

She loved every child in her life as if they were her own, and each one, including all ours, felt this and knew this whenever they crossed paths with her. 

She was a strong partner and devoted companion to her husband Luke – their marriage a beautiful blending of their best for each other.

She loved her family with every ounce of her being…she was everyone’s biggest fan, a ready listener and wise counselor.

She loved her friends with a warmth and realness that was hers alone. Her quick wit, contagious laugh and sparkling eyes brought magic and happiness to every group she was with.

She loved so well.

 And her love went far beyond family and friends.  She had a deep and real love for people she never even met, seen in her passionate commitment to our work as a long-time member of the Bought Beautifully board.  Beyond her board service, she was our go-to volunteer superstar – giving countless hours of her time and incredible talents to impact the lives of others in any way she could.

Along with so, so many others, we have a gaping hole in our hearts.  Her powerfully clear voice that passionately advocated for the voiceless has gone quiet.

Calli we love you so much. We miss you and cannot believe you are gone.  We find some solace in knowing we will see you again, but today we are grieving you.  On behalf of all of the lives you helped touch, thank you, and we will endeavor to live our days following your lead. 

 

Calli made Bought Beautifully better 

In 2016 BB Board Member Alison introduced us to her best friend Calli, knowing we'd hit it off...we did!  Calli began volunteering with BB helping with process and upload new items to the website.  A girl with serious style, she was drawn to the products but immediately fell in love with the stories and people behind the products. She loved learning about and meeting the makers...and when she realized that she could play a role in transforming their lives, it lit a serious spark in her...a natural extension of how she lived out her faith. 

She soon became a key part of our team helping to further our mission and impact by joining the board.  While on the board, Calli played in important role in helping us articulate "the why" behind our work, and provided clarifying perspective and Godly wisdom as BB grew and developed as an organization.

Through the years Calli volunteered countless hours staffing our shop modeling for photo shoots, and helping with pop-up markets.  She  went the extra mile to join us for the always-awkward video and social media post...probably more often than she wanted...like here, and here, and here and here

One of our favorite projects she helped brainstorm and design was our Soul Sister Jewelry collection...and we are so thankful to have these memories to see her lasting fingerprints on our work.

Earlier this month Calli shared a portion of a liturgy by Douglas McKelvey entitled “A Liturgy for Embracing both Joy and Sorrow” that has comforted us during this time.

In one hand I grasp the burden of my grief,
while with the other I reach
for the hope of grief’s redemption.
And here, between the tension of the two,
between what was and what will be,
in the very is of now,
let my heart be surprised by, shaped by,
warmed by, remade by,
the same joy that forever wells within
and radiates from your heart, O God.
Amen.
Calli's family has asked that memorials contributions be made to Bought Beautifully. We are humbled and honored and will use these contributions to continue our work that was near and dear to Calli's heart, to provide dignified employment that enriches lives, restores hope, empowers people and shines God's love around the globe.