Here are more photos of our CEs with the girls:
Hey guys! Elisabeth here. Gretchen, Holly and I just had an amazing trip to Guatemala with our Vision Team, 6 awesome CEs! First, we visited our artisans who make our Julia Necklace and Identity Bracelet. These girls were truly inspiring. Our artisans live at a safe home with many other girls. As well as giving adult women sustainable businesses, our business with them benefits the girls' home as a whole. Upon arriving, all of the girls in the home ran up to our group and gave us each hugs. It was a heart-warming as it sounds. With each "Hola, buenas dias," we all fell a little more in love.
We were so blessed with the opportunity to watch our artisans make some Identity Bracelets. Our adoration for their skill, talent and creativity only deepened as we stared in awe.
While their work was indeed beautiful and moving, I found something so much more inspiring: their hearts. After we had a group discussion with our artisans and some girls learning the trade of making jewelry, I found myself asking for photo after photo after photo with these, business women as if they were celebrities. Despite the darkness of their past, they have tremendous dreams for their futures! They have dreams of being international business women, doctors, lawyers, or writers. Karen (pictured with me above) has the ambition to be president of her country one day. You know what the beauty is? Because of you and Trades of Hope, every single one of these girls have the bravery to believe that their dreams will come true. They are confident. They are expectant. And I long to be pictured with them because they empower me to believe that my dreams will come true as well! Sustainable business is a never ending cycle of hope upon hope for everyone involved!
Here are more photos of our CEs with the girls:
We also got to meet our artisans who make the Mayan Clutch and Turtle Backpack! These women work so diligently; and because of your business, they were able to expand their workplace and their home! Sweetness radiated out of them as they let our excited CEs take photos with them! It was such a fun, sweet gift!
Here are some more photos of our CEs in Guatemala!
Thank you so much for the lives you are directly impacting and empowering in Guatemala! It is such an honor to partner with these women of Guatemala and with you! - Elisabeth
Well, hello Julie! Why don’t you introduce yourself and tell everyone exactly what you do at Trades of Hope.
Julie: Hello, I’m Julie Shipman and I work at Trades of Hope in product development. Yay!
Awesome! So the tile earrings from Costa Rica what can you tell us about them and how did you find the creativity to develop these?
Julie: After graduating college, Melody Monk, a long-time family friend, contacted me to come down to Florida and intern with their Non-profit. They had been working closely with the Costa Rican group and were having issues developing products that would meet the demands of the American market. Even more difficult, was finding materials that were readily available and not dependent on importing.
Did your background in art help in the development of the tile earrings?
Julie: Yes, it was perfect because my education focused on fabric design and also developing art from recycled materials. Since this was my concentration in school, she thought I could come down and use that creativity to see what products could be created sustainably. Our artisans need to be using materials that are durable and sustainable because Trades of Hope wants to create sustainable business for every artisan. When I went there, I saw that they had an abundance of broken tile everywhere, which was really an interesting thing to see.
Why is there an abundance of broken tile in Costa Rica?
Well, a significant percent of the population in Costa Rica is predominantly poor, so they start squatting on government land since they have no where else to go. They’ll pick or buy scrap tile, wood, plastic, and tin to create a home.
However, the government eventually comes and displaces these people once they decide to sell or build on that land. Entire communities of shanty towns, the only homes that they have known, get destroyed and they become homeless. And all that’s left behind are these tiny broken pieces of ceramic and tile. So the whole point was to take this story and take the tile and make it into something new. The tile really represents the people there: that they can be broken, but still redeemed into something new and beautiful. And that’s what God does with us.
What a beautiful way to see it! But how did you make the tile into stud earrings?
Since Trades of Hope was looking to create stud earrings, we tried using a tile saw and shaped the pieces of tile into triangles and painted them. Then viola! You got the Meadow and Sky Tile Earrings.
Well, thank you so much, Julie, for giving everyone this behind the scenes look at the Meadow and Sky Tile Earrings! You are awesome and we look forward to more beautifully designed products in the future!
We are excited to announce the official dates and
Trades of Hope empowers women out of poverty around the world while creating entrepreneurial opportunities for the modern American woman by selling ethically produced fashion accessories and home decor.
Any pricing in past blog posts is subject to change. Please check our online store here for current prices.