This holiday season, we're celebrating stories of artisans overcoming poverty through their craft. #GiftingStories

#GiftingStories — The Story of Traditional Artisans in Brazil

Shop Handmade Crafts from Brazil

For many families living in impoverished areas of Brazil, there is little hope of ever overcoming poverty. But several jewelry and basket weavers refused to live the story of poverty. Here's how they defeated poverty by preserving a cultural craft passed down for generations.

Traditional Craft Preserved to Defeat Poverty

The indigenous people of Brazil have been crafting goods from golden grass for hundreds of years because of its durable, flexible, and lightweight nature. But despite golden grass being protected in Brazil—making it so that only a select few can harvest it as part of their traditional craft—it is hard to make a living selling this craft in Brazil since other people in the communities are equally impoverished.

When Cross Trade, a partner organization of Jesus' Economy, first met Silvania (pictured above with her children), she was creating beautiful woven items but selling them in exchange for only a bag of rice to feed her family. Cross Trade invested in Silvania's work and payed her double the rates she used to make.

When you gift the Golden Grass Cesta Trança Basket, you help Silvania lift herself and her family out of poverty. The same is true for other artisans from Brazil.

Golden Grass Cesta Trança Basket from Brazil 

Gorgeous, Golden Grass Jewelry Creates Jobs

For other indigenous artisans in Brazil, crafting jewelry out of golden grass has transformed their lives.

For jewelry artist Erlane (pictured above with his children), his entire life has been changed through the commerce opportunity of partnering with Cross Trade. Erlane is now able to provide a sustainable income for his family, offering his children a better life story.

Earrings by Erlane: Golden Grass Ropa

Joelma (pictured above with her sister) also has found hope through crafting beautiful golden grass jewelry. Through her partnership with Cross Trade, and subsequently selling products on JesusEconomy.org, she is beginning the journey of lifting herself and those around her out of poverty through economic opportunity and empowerment. 

Bracelet by Joelma: Segmento Golden Grass

Be Part of a Better Story for Brazilian Artisans

It is difficult to overstate how much gifts from an online Fair Trade Shop, like JesusEconomy.org, changes the lives of impoverished artisans. When you gift handmade products from JesusEconomy.org, you're part of a better story for impoverished families.

Gift Handmade Crafts from Brazil 

 

Let Your Holiday Shopping Tell a Story

Every gift from JesusEconomy.org comes with a story to share ... of lives being transformed through craftculture, and a new type of commerce

Be part of the story of artisans defeating poverty. Let your holiday shopping tell a story. #GiftingStories

Gift a Better Story

Being in the kitchen can be a frustrating or enjoyable experience, depending on your personality and mood. Not everyone loves to cook, some don't even know how but at some point, cooking is a necessity. That necessity can become routine and mundane. That's why there's a National Cooking Day (and also because Americans love making a day for EVERYTHING) which is today. 

National Cooking Day is meant to encourage and inspire everyone to discover something new and enjoy being in the kitchen. And we thought, what's a better way to be inspired in the kitchen than with products that do the inspiring for you? We've put together a list of items sure to spark your imagination each time you step foot in your kitchen. Starting with the most obvious, the apron (which are currently on sale!). 

Plaid Twill Aprons from Guatemala: Brick and Pumpkin

Aprons are one of the most basic kitchen tools that often get seen as something reserved for grandmas, chefs, and the grill master. But no more. Aprons are handy to keep stains away (especially grease), keep kitchen utensils in to have on hand, and something to wipe your hands on which inevitably happens every 30 seconds it seems. Plus this one is perfect for fall. 

Table Runners from Guatemala: Mustard Plaid

Sometimes all it takes to inspire a beautiful, tasty meal is an inviting table. What better way to look forward to eating meals at your table than with a gorgeous, handwoven table runner? It'll make you want to keep coming back to eat at your table. Plus, we sell coordinating napkins that will really make your table inviting. 

Kitchen Gift Set from Guatemala: Brick and Pumpkin Pot Holder and Towel

To round out the fabric picks and to coordinate with the earlier mentioned apron, we have a potholder and towel set. These bright colors will be sure to ignite an idea as an excuse to use this gripper potholder. 

Banana Leaf Divided Serving Tray from Rwanda

This gorgeous divided serving tray is handwoven with banana tree stalks and leaves. I mean, just looking at this photo makes you want to organize a dinner party immediately and use this to serve drinks to your guests. What better reason than to get in the kitchen and cook than a dinner party? 

Baskets from Haiti: Casserole 14" x 10"

A good, hearty casserole can make all the difference, for a plethora of situations. This casserole basket is handwoven and naturally water resistant. One look and you'll be inspired to cook up a delicious, creamy casserole for yourself, your family, your friends, your neighbors, anybody! 

The Jesus' Economy Fair Trade Shop is full of kitchen products that are handmade and beautifully crafted for you to enjoy in your kitchen for years to come. Plus, they're all made from locally sourced and sustainable materials, not to mention the waste you'll cut down on in your own kitchen (like using fabric napkins that can be washed, for example). Check out our household collection for more products like this for the kitchen and beyond. 

Several years ago, the local parish of the Catholic Church in Gisagara District, a southern province in Rwanda, chose several vulnerable children to participate in a year-long program to learn how to basket-weave and in turn provide for themselves and their families. Each of the participants were orphans who were also charged with taking care of their younger siblings and/or elders. Among these children were Sixbert, Media, and Clementine (pictured above).

When their training was complete, and now that they were adults, the three friends decided to join their skills together to build a business. They formed the Amizero Cooperative and are now part of Azizi Life, a partner of Jesus’ Economy. Azizi Life, a fair trade organization dedicated to working with artisans who receive fair wages for their labor, represents 25 independent artisan groups throughout Rwanda. The income the creators earn helps them maintain their businesses and provide for their families, including now having access to medical insurance, school supplies, healthier foods, and financial independence. Azizi Life is transforming Rwandan communities through artists like Sixbert, Media, and Clementine.

A few years ago, Sixbert and Media got married, and now they are building a family. With the money they have earned from their business, they have been able to construct a home with electricity and water for their family, and Clementine has been able to buy land locally.

Sixbert, Media, and Clementine’s specialty is creating home goods from hand twisted banana twine. Leaves and stalks of banana trees are a renewable resource in Rwanda, and if they are woven skillfully, the products will be sturdy and last for many years.

Banana Twine Panier from Rwanda

Together Sixbert, Media, and Clementine are running a successful business, and it is their togetherness and their craft that is leading them toward amizero: hope.

Shop Amizero Cooperative Products