Holly Christine Hayes is Founder + CEO of Sanctuary Project, a survivor-run nonprofit community employing and empowering women who’ve survived lives of trafficking, violence, and addiction in Austin, TX. Holly was rescued out of a life of trauma more than nineteen years ago and knows the path to recovery can be long and rocky. Her vision and leadership create a safe space for other survivors to grow in practical skills, unleash their creativity, embrace their femininity, and heal their hearts – all in community with other survivors. Sanctuary Project’s jewelry line can be seen both online and at several local and national boutiques and was recently picked up by Target.com as their newest jewelry brand.
Holly is an award-winning author of the book “From Basement to Sanctuary” and speaks in safe houses, jails, churches, recovery communities and conferences all over the globe about finding healing and transformation from trauma and becoming the beautiful, inspiring individuals we were each created to be. She was recently named Austin Woman Magazine’s 2020 Women’s Way Business Awards “Business to Watch – Under $3M” and is honored to have been nominated for Austin Under 40’s 2020 “Mentor of the Year.”
Locally, she spends her Tuesday mornings teaching and mentoring the women in Del Valle at Travis County Correctional Facility with the Ascend Life Skills program. Otherwise, she can be found in the Sanctuary Project East Austin offices, where they have converted an old, white, 1904 house on East Cesar Chavez into a safe haven for the community. She has partnered with many other nonprofits in the Austin area providing care and advocacy for women transitioning out of trafficking, violence, and addiction.
In her spare time, she and her husband, Jeff, enjoy life on a hobby farm and vineyard in Southwest Austin, with their chickens, goats, cows, dogs and newest addition to the farm, their daughter Havana, who they welcomed last July!