Haitian Artisan Makes Handmade Leather Goods to Create Jobs

In Jubilee, an impoverished village in Haiti just outside of Gonaives, Benson Thermidor uses his skills in business and entrepreneurship to create stable jobs. He and other artisans craft leather goods to sell locally and internationally, with the help of 2nd Story Goods and Jesus' Economy.

Beautiful handmade leather products create jobs

Benson was binding song books, Bibles, and texts for friends when 2nd Story Goods, a local nonprofit, asked him if he would be willing to teach his skills to others in the village who needed work.

Since that time, Benson's leather business has expanded greatly. He has trained other artisans in his community, and together they're making computer cases, totes, briefcases, wallets, and other items. Through this partnership, Benson's business has grown to include 25 men and women and a full-sized workshop. In this impoverished village, where work is often unreliable and low paying, Benson's studio is a grace to the community.

Promoting fair trade

Benson works with 2nd Story Goods, a Jesus’ Economy partner, to market his products in the United States. 2nd Story Goods co-labors with Haitian men and women on the outskirts of Gonaives, Haiti, to make beautiful products that create sustainable incomes for Haitian families.

It is 2nd Story Goods' vision to help people move from poverty to abundance through education, creativity, and practical life experiences. In Haiti, which has a 40 percent unemployment rate (World Bank, 2010), the work of 2nd Story Goods and Benson Thermidor is desperately needed. For all these reasons, Jesus' Economy has partnered with 2nd Story Goods to give Benson's products a wider market.

Benson’s Fair Trade Products from Haiti

Cross Body Bags from Haiti: Sheepskin

Made from 100 percent sheep leather, this bag is the elegance you've been looking for. Each bag is handmade in Jubilee, Haiti's famous leather shop, run by Benson.

Cuff Bracelets from Haiti: Split Leather

What goes great with your favorite pair of leather boots? These leather cuffs. In an elegant gray or yellow, their understatement will be your definitiveness.

Genuine Goat Leather Tote Bag from Haiti

Made from 100 percent goat leather, this bag is the elegance you've been looking for. Each one is handmade in Jubilee, Haiti's famous leather shop, run by Benson.

Journals from Haiti: Burlap

Handmade in Haiti with locally sourced burlap, this journal is what you need to express yourself. The cover is made from recycled coffee bags—each with a slightly different design.

Sheep Leather Tote Bag from Haiti

Made from sheep leather, this bag is the elegance you've been looking for. Each bag is handmade in Jubilee, Haiti's famous leather shop, run by Benson.

Clutch Purses from Haiti: Sheepskin

Made from 100 percent locally sourced sheepskin, this clutch is sure to impress.

Leather Luggage Tags from Haiti

Made from sheep goat skin, you'll never have a problem finding your bag with these tags. They are so unique that they will immediately stand out in the baggage carousel.

Goat Leather Executive Portfolio from Haiti

You're sitting at your desk and you need to write a very important note to yourself. Where else do you look, except to your fair trade executive portfolio from Haiti? It has pockets for everything you need--from business cards to credit cards. Keep all your important thoughts in the one item that's got your back: the executive portfolio from Haiti.

Leather Passport Covers from Haiti

The perfect traveling partner to hold your most valuable tool: your passport. You won't lose sight of your I.D. in this sturdy cover with elastic closure. These covers come in either sheepskin or goat leather.

Saddleback Leather Journal, Made in Haiti

When it comes time to take notes, why settle for boring? This journal is a perfect conversation piece for your school or workplace. Handmade and sewn, with a goat leather cover, it will feel and seem different than any other journal you've owned.

Sheep Leather Executive Portfolio from Haiti

You're sitting at your desk and you need to write a very important note to yourself. Where else do you look, except to your fair trade executive portfolio from Haiti? It has pockets for everything you need--from business cards to credit cards. Keep all your important thoughts in the one item that's got your back: the executive portfolio from Haiti.

Sheepskin Leather Journal from Haiti

When it comes time to take notes, why settle for boring? This journal is a perfect conversation piece for your school or workplace. Handmade and sewn, with a sheep leather cover, it will feel and seem different than any other journal you've owned.

Baby Booties from Haiti: Goat Leather

Made from locally-sourced goat leather in Gonaives, Haiti, these booties will make cozy covers for your baby's little toes. They come in three sizes for babies through toddlers—small, medium, and large.

Baby Booties from Haiti: Soft Sheepskin

Slide your baby's tiny toes in these cushy slippers and they'll never toss their shoes off again. Okay, we can't promise that, but we can promise that they'll look adorable in these fashionable booties. Made from locally-sourced leather; you can feel good about this purchase. Plus, you are helping put food on the table for several families in Jubilee, Haiti.

Cuff Bracelets from Haiti: Leather

Wrap your wrist in this smooth, creamy-brown goat leather bracelet. Made to the snap from locally sourced, locally-tanned goat leather from Gonaives, Haiti. Enjoy this hip addition to your accessory collection.

Journals from Haiti: Goat Leather

Store your most secret thoughts in this sleek leather journal from Haiti. Handmade and sewn with genuine, locally-sourced goat leather, it will feel and seem different than any other journal you've owned.

Each purchase 2nd Story Goods' product supports the livelihood of artisans in poverty situations. Shop Fair Trade on JesusEconomy.org for 2nd Story Goods' products to create jobs and transform lives.




Charlotte Van Werven
Charlotte Van Werven

Author

Apprentice in Writing and Editorial for Jesus' Economy



SUBSCRIBE TO OUR BLOG