Handbag company helping those in need

By Mary Williams

November 30, 2012 Updated Nov 30, 2012 at 11:24 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- A company is working to change the lives of women nationwide by selling handbags.

Kickapoo Creek Winery played host to the handbag company Beijo (Pronounced Bay-Joo) which in turn donated all proceeds and food donations to the South Side Mission.

The company is dedicated to helping inspire women create financial independence for them.

For Beijo President and Founder Susan Handley, her passion to help others stems from her own hardships.

"For me, it's a personal story that started 10 years ago when I started the company,” said Handley. “I was a single mom and I was really struggling financially and I was looking for something, a change in my life where I could provide some security for my son."

Susan's son is also the inspiration of the company name, as a child he was always asking her for his beiju, which means "kiss" in Portuguese.

The company has 1,000 consultants around the U.S., each one encouraged to get involved and give back to their community.

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