Hands Producing Hope
is an accessories company with a mission to support marginalized women in Costa Rica through dignified work, life skills courses, and spiritual guidance. They sent me this beautiful Shalom necklace to review and it's become a fast favorite.
The Shalom necklace is made of glass beads and seeds from the Ojo de Buey
("eye of the bull," part of the legume family) and Jaboncillo
harvested by the artisans. I like that it's an organic twist on a statement necklace, plus the neutral tone makes it versatile. I wore it four days in a row when I first got it!
Ethical Details: Top - c/o Tonle; Skirt - secondhand via thredup; Necklace - c/o Hands Producing Hope
I reached out to founder, Rebecca Gardner, for a behind-the-scenes interview about the daily running of Hands Producing Hope. I've included a few of her answers below (you'll see the rest Wednesday).
What does a day in the life of an artisan look like at Hands Producing Hope?
The days of our artisans vary quite a bit because we work with women ranging from high school students to grandmas! Most of their days start soon after the sun rises, begins with either getting their own children ready for school or getting themselves ready for school. Soon after waking up they begin making the fire that will likely be burning during the entire day. Rice is a fairly normal breakfast or at times it is some form of meat if the family has recently slaughtered a chicken or pig (with no refrigeration, meat needs to be cooked right away and then consumed fairly quickly).
The women work on their jewelry or headband assignments throughout the day as they have time. This often happens while babies are napping, beans are cooking or kids are in school. Having the flexibility to work any time during the day or even not work on day and just do more work another is key for the women in our program, as many of them have many other responsibilities with their families! Often families have houses near each other and so sisters, cousins and in laws will get together during the day to work together and just spend some time socializing. If there is a soccer game on, you are sure to find a large crowd at the nearest house with a TV that evening. While this isn't an exact representation of what every day looks like for the women in our program, I hope this gives you a glimpse into their daily lives!
How do you select materials for your goods? Who designs them?
We love utilizing local, natural materials. We also love the contrast of a beautiful metal beside a hand picked seed. Our products include materials found in the artisans local village, a near by town, and around the world. The designs are a collaboration between myself and our awesome board member/product design extraordinaire Emily Duke. We often pull designs from traditional Guaymi patterns and styles!
Make sure to check back this Wednesday to learn more about Hands Producing Hope and enter to win your own Shalom necklace!