It’s a much-loved task sharing the stories behind the products we sell at Scooch A Mi. Our customers not only walk out of the boutique with a gift or accessory but get to share the purpose of their purchase.
The jewelry of WorldFinds Handmade, Fair Trade Ethical Style is a new addition to Scooch A Mi. They work directly with their artisan groups – which include a combination of WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization) members, small families of artisans, and women’s cooperatives. These groups are comprised of talented, low-income artisans who are paid a livable wage and have safe working conditions, access to healthcare and childcare, and on-going training and education. World Finds has worked with many of these groups for over a decade – during that time many of the WorldFinds artisans lifted themselves out of poverty and even launched their own successful businesses, strengthening the entire community.
WorldFinds has a clear goal: to provide work, not charity, to artisans by finding markets for their handmade products.
How the Kantha Jewelry of WorldFinds Is Made
The artisans of WorldFinds make beautiful and colorful Kantha Jewelry. Kantha quilts are a traditional textile found in abundance in India. They are made from layers of worn cotton saris, sewn together with a distinctive, allover running stitch. Artisans transform the fabric scraps into beads for jewelry, which provides new life to a textile that is often discarded. Each Kantha bead has a base made of wood, carved out of wood scraps gathered from a local furniture factory. Great sustainable sourcing!
Meet Anita A WordFinds Employee
Recently, Founder Kelly Weinberger traveled to India to work with the WorldFinds artisans. During her travels, Kelly got to visit with Anita, a WorldFinds office worker. Kelly is thrilled to share Anita’s story.
Kelly and the WorldFinds Team first met Anita a couple of years ago and knew her as the smiling face that would bring in chai during meeting breaks, or suddenly appear with refreshing coconut water in the middle of a hot afternoon. They only learned of Anita’s full story during last week’s visit.
Kelly and her team happened to ask how Anita found the women’s group and we were completely surprised to learn of her history. They would never have imagined the traumatic events that led her to where she is now by looking at her genuine smile and experiencing her optimistic energy.
One day Shaina, the founder of the artisan group got out of her car and a woman rushed over to her and threw herself at her feet asking for work. She was distraught and in tears and completely inconsolable. She calmed down enough to explain that her husband was a truck driver and had recently been killed in an accident. She was given the equivalent of $20 as a life insurance payment by her husband’s company, and on top of being completely devastated by the tragic loss, she had no idea what she would do to support her two sons on her own.
She had heard of a women’s group in her village that provided fair wages and went searching for a chance of hope. Shaina invited Anita to come to the office and talk her about her skills. Since Anita didn’t have a lot of experience, she was brought on to work in the office as part of the staff, where she could help with various needs while still guaranteed a full salary.
Today, Anita’s infectious smile belies her past. She is clearly happy, working in a safe and stable environment and is surrounded by love and support. Funds from the WorldFinds orders cover her sons’ school fees and supplies, and she doesn’t have to worry about how they'll survive to the next day. The power of fair trade means that you are helping women like Anita and so many others like her overcome tough odds. Anita’s story reminds us that we are not a product of our circumstances, rather a testament of our determination. It is stories like these that inspire us and it's an incredible message to witness!!