WPMarket is excited to feature one of our partners, Kiran Social Enterprises.
The following blog was written by Jane Wilson, founder of Kiran
All of March, our featured item will be the Kiran Veer Necklace, in junction with International Women's Day. More here!
India is a country of vibrant colour and culture alongside heartbreaking stories of unmet need. If you have heard of Kolkata, you may associate the city as the long time home and final resting place of Mother Teresa, a place steeped in literature, song, dance and well founded pride the rich Bengali culture, but where poverty reigns. A lesser known fact is that beyond these stories of adversity are many strong women fighting to overcome circumstances in their lives that most of us would find it hard to imagine. At Kiran Social Enterprises, we are glad to be working with five of them.
Kiran (meaning 'ray of light or hope' in Sanskrit) was established in 2012 as a direct response to these particular women living in a busti (slum) community together and facing issues such as unfair working conditions or unemployment as well as the huge array of consequences of gender inequality. And what better way to address these issues than going right back to what is already in abundance in India – spirited colour, feminine resilience and beautiful artisanship.
At Kiran, we embrace these assets and combine them with training in multimedia jewelry design and craft. The result is a beautiful piece of Kolkata, ready for you to wear or gift on, embedded with the stories and strength of the five women who made it possible. In turn, our artisans are paid a living wage and provided with medical insurance and financial assistance as necessary. But perhaps even more crucial is the chance to spend time in community with each other, where laughter is plentiful and dignity is for everyone.
You can see how this is a partnership – our artisans and Kiran leadership work closely together, but we can't continue this transformative work without those who are willing to value the stories and artisanship enough to take a piece of it with them. We'd love for you to take a piece of Kiran with you, and to further close the gaps between us all. Many pieces of the Kiran jewelry range are based on the iconic Indian sari, so you are wearing a symbol of strength, resilience and traditional feminine India. And we think you're going to love it!
Learn more about Kiran and our March campaign here!
We've gotten several new partners in the past few months, and with our new website roll-out, we can't wait to showcase them all and the incredible work that they're doing!
First up is Haiti's Jewels. Sophie Wiseman-Floyd founded Haiti’s Jewels as a 16-year-old in 2010. She moved to Haiti full-time in 2011 and began training Haitian women to make her designs for the US consumer market. It now employs Haitian artisans (the majority women) who are, for the most part, young struggling parents in need of a stable, hearty income.
Haiti's Jewels offer free training and materials to all of its artisans. It also offers them interest-free loans to help start their own businesses, buy land, and pay for unexpected emergencies.
We've partnered with Haiti's Jewels because 1) they're having a meaningful impact in women's lives and 2) their products are beautiful and well made! We're in love with the Elina necklace and Michel-Ange necklace!
Check 'em out! https://www.wpmarket.org/collections/haitis-jewels
Even better, for every $10 you spend on Haiti's Jewel's products, $7 is reinvested to support their programming for artisans' skills training and access to finance in Haiti.
With the support of Haiti's Jewels and the income earned, their artisans have all invested in land, built homes for their families, paid for their children to attend the best local schools, have money saved for medical and family emergencies, and keep their cabinets stocked with nourishing food for their children, who will one day be running the country.
Welcome to our family Haiti's Jewels!