It's hard to imagine that just a week ago I was in Africa visiting hundreds of the artisans that handcraft our collections. I am so thankful that Raven + Lily is able to play an important part in seeing that these women have hope and dignity because of your purchases. I have known some of them since 2008, and the lives of these women and their families is truly being positively transformed.
In the spirit of the season, we asked a number of artisans what they are grateful for, and we wanted to share their answers with you!
"I am thankful to take care of my 9 children by selling beads and to be able to feed my family."
--Kasoiyan, Kenya (Maasai) Beading Partnership
"I am thankful I found someone I can look up to and call my mother — my family [Yami]. I am also very happy to work and create leather goods."
--Sara, Ethiopia Leather Partnership
"Apart from work, I am grateful part of the Raven + Lily team is here visiting and meeting many of the women in my group. I am also grateful for more jewelry orders so we can create more jobs."
--Lucy, Kenya Horn and Brass Partnership
"I am thankful for my family and my four children."
--Ruth, Kenya Knit Partnership
"I used to have no hope. Now I am so happy and peaceful. I am grateful I can do what I want!"
--Tigist, Ethiopia Jewelry Partnership
“I am just happy. I am happy to have a job. I hope this partnership will grow so I can bring my friends and train them in brass jewelry making.”
--Caroline, 30, Kenya Brass Partnership
"I am happy to do business. To be able to buy cattle, food and to protect my goats, sheep and donkeys."
--Kimpoyan, Kenya (Maasai) Beading Partnership
"Before I had no friends and no one to talk to because I am HIV+. Today, I now have friends and a permanent job I love."
--Andanet, Ethiopia Jewelry Partnership
"I am thankful women in the states like my leather bags. It makes me happy they want to buy from us!"
--Azeb, Ethiopia Leather Partnership
"I am thankful for my job. I love working with horn. It is my passion."
--Anne, Kenya Horn and Brass Partnership
"I am thankful for my family, and grateful I can send all six of my children to school."
--Teresia, Kenya Knit Partnership