Purposeful Product Guide

Christmas Gives Back Idea Book: Cuddle + Kind

Every child should have one of these beautiful Cuddle+Kind dolls. Hand-knit by artisans in Peru, these wonderfully-detailed, fair trade dolls are the perfect blend of cuddly softness, safety and durability.  And for each doll purchased, Cuddle+Kind will donate 10 meals through partnerships with a variety of well-respected child hunger organizations. From September 15, 2015 to September 15, 2016 alone, Cuddle+Kind has donated nearly 630,000 meals through organizations working in the US and 64 countries around the world. They also employ more than 100 artisans at sustainable, fair trade wages in Peru, providing opportunity and empowerment to women. And the dolls they create are beloved by children all over the world. Just look at these darling stuffed friends:

 

Christmas Gives Back Idea Book: Shine Project

A look at The Shine Project, a non-profit providing scholarships to inner-city youth, and a selection of their fabulous jewelry that supports the cause. 

Christmas Gives Back Idea Book: Krochet Kids

Wintertime means a wardrobe of warm hats, gloves, scarves and sweaters, so why don't you share the warmth by giving a hand knit or crocheted item from Krochet Kids International? This non-profit organization hires women from Northern Uganda and Peru, teaching them to crochet and weave, employing them to make the items that they sell in their stores, and using the profits from these sales to educate, mentor, and empower a generation of women. 

Krochet Kids was founded by three guys who loved winter sports and learned to crochet so they could have an endless supply of unique hats on the mountain. Their unique hobby attracted attention from their peers, and soon they were taking custom orders and selling their wares to help pay for prom. 

Fast forward a few years, and these young entrepreneurs are spread to three different colleges, but each having experiences that broadened their global awareness and understanding of the cycle of poverty. As they traveled abroad and learned the heartbreaking stories of the poor and realized how fortunate they'd been growing up, they felt compelled to do something. With the encouragement of family and a little ingenuity, they found themselves together in northern Uganda with a bag of yarn, crochet needles and a group of local women and they began teaching them how to crochet and sell their goods as a pathway to independence. Krochet Kids was born and has since expanded its reach into Peru, helping to empower women on two continents through the opportunity for dignified work, teaching skills for advancement, and mentoring women on their path to independence.  Here's a video that explains more the vision and mission of Krochet Kids: 

When you purchase crochet and knit items from Krochet Kids International, you are directly investing in these artisans, supporting their work and their futures. Your beautifully hand-made item will come with a tag inside, signed by the woman that created it. What a thoughtful and impactful gift to give this season!

Here are a few of our favorite things, but there are so many beautiful items to choose from! Click over and visit their shop today!

Christmas GiveS Back Idea Book: Jewelry from Hands Producing Hope

Simple. Elegant. Sustainable. Those words describe the jewelry of Hands Producing Hope and their mission. 

Founder Rebecca Gardner encountered the Guaymi people of Coast Rica and felt drawn to their story. Marginalized, discriminated against and ostracized, the Guaymi people frequently live on reservations with little hope for the future. Rebecca and an in-country family of missionaries started Hands Producing Hope with the idea that "all people (regardless of gender, ethnicity, or geographical location) be afforded opportunities to have dignified and respectable work, and to provide for their families and flourish in their communities."

Now, Hands Producing Hope is operating in two countries: Costa Rica and Rwanda. They hire and pay artisans above-living-wages to create the jewelry products, frequently using indigenous seeds or natural elements in the jewelry. The artisans and their families are welcomed into the HPH community, which teaches them life skills, provides educational and training opportunities for future advancement, and are taught about the incredible love that Jesus has for them. Hands Producing Hope involves the larger community to be a part of their mission, and as relationships are formed between the Guaymi people and the surrounding communities, small steps are being made toward racial reconciliation. 

Here's a great video depicting their work and how it began:

 

This Christmas, give the gift of beautiful, sustainably-made jewelry that will empower a woman and help her find dignified work. There are so many elegant options to choose from, here are a few of our favorites: 

So many lovely options, sure to delight your gift recipients! Top left:   Orlando Bracelet $15  . Top right:   Kaia Necklace $24  .  Bottom left:   Maria Elena Necklace $52     Bottom middle:  Irma Bracelet $10 . Bottom right:  Shalom Necklace $32

So many lovely options, sure to delight your gift recipients! Top left: Orlando Bracelet $15. Top right: Kaia Necklace $24.
 Bottom left: 
Maria Elena Necklace $52 Bottom middle: Irma Bracelet $10. Bottom right: Shalom Necklace $32

Christmas Gives Back Idea Book: Jewelry from the Starfish Project

Jewelry is a great choice for gifts: unless it's a ring, there's no need to worry about sizes and most every woman enjoys a sparkly bauble hanging from their neck or earlobes. But when you factor in the notion that jewelry from the Starfish Project will also bring hope to exploited women, it's a no brainer.

Starfish Project was founded in 2006 by Jenny McGee. After studying abroad in college and getting a taste of China, she and her husband traveled to Beijing to learn Chinese and immerse themselves in the culture. While there, a friend who worked in philanthropy exposed McGee to the masses of women, many who had arrived illiterate to the city from rural areas, hoping to find opportunity, and ended up living horrible lives of abuse and exploitation in the city's brothels. McGee and her co-founder, Priscilla Daeger, decided to do something about it. McGee began making jewelry and using the proceeds to fund assistance for the women. She also began teaching the women how to craft jewelry themselves, and out of this modest start, a successful social enterprise was born.

Today, Starfish Project can boast of many success stories: women that, not only have found healing from their past, but have developed longterm and satisfying careers. Women begin their journey with Starfish Project at one of their shelters, where they (along with their children) can find a safe, clean environment to make their fresh start.  Counseling, Christian mentoring and comprehensive healthcare are provided to care for a woman's immediate needs. Vocational and life skills training are offered for women to begin their first steps toward independence (while their children are also given educational scholarships and opportunities), and women are employed making jewelry at a fair wage, with healthcare and retirement benefits. But Starfish Project's McGee wants more for these women than just a simple job. Each day there are computer classes for the women to gain Microsoft certification, and women are given the opportunity to learn photography, graphic design, marketing, accounting, and management skills in order to jump start a lifelong career.

"My thought was to have them make jewelry while they learned to do something else," she explained to Kering Magazine. "Employing people to make something forever is not that thrilling to me," McGee said. "But seeing them able to do things they never thought they could do before is quite fulfilling." 

This Christmas, consider a purchase from Starfish Project. Your purchase will empower women to leave behind exploitive employment and find personal fulfillment and healing. And there are so many incredible options to choose from!

With on-trend colors, this statement necklace will bring color to the most drab winter day. 

Know someone with a love for dangly earrings? With a modern flare and minimalist vibe, these earrings would look fabulous in the office or with your fave pair of jeans. 

A simple, elegant silver bar with a hand-stamped cross. An understated way to wear a visible reminder of your faith. 

This necklace and earring duo would look fabulous from morning to night, whether paired with a business suit, a worn pair of jeans and a classic white tee, or that little black dress we all have tucked into our closets.