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Fair Trade Jewelry and Ethical Fashion

5 Ways Your Jewelry Creates Opportunities for Women – Trades of Hope

by | Founders

Read Time: 7 min.


Hi! I’m Elisabeth, one of the founders and the C.C.O. at Trades of Hope!

Welcome to this event where you’ll discover “5 Ways Your Jewelry Can Create Opportunities for Women” around the world.

Sound too good to be true? Join me for this inspiring video, and you will leave in awe! I promise you that.

Drop where you are tuning in from in the comments! I want to see where you all are!

I’m in Florida at the Trades of Hope headquarters.

And if we’ve never met before, the most important thing you should know about me as a Trades of Hope Founder is that I have dedicated my life to creating opportunities for women — in developing communities around the world and also here in the United States.

So, let’s jump right into the “5 Ways Your Jewelry Can Create Opportunities for Women” around the world!

#1 – Your jewelry can create JOBS for women trying to overcome poverty.

There is a reason why creating opportunities for women is my life’s purpose. It is woven into my DNA. It’s engrained into me because of my VERY unique childhood traveling to Haiti since I was 8 years old. My family started and ran an Orphanage in Port au Prince Haiti, and I fell in love with traveling there multiple times a year throughout my childhood.

By the time I was a teenager, I had seen some very moving and heart-breaking moments: babies no larger than skeletons pass away, grown men begging me — a child — for money just because I was American, and mothers handing over their babies to our orphanage — their bodies shaking from sobbing as they said goodbye forever.

I remember clearly one defining moment of this season: When I was 9 years old, a Haitian family came to our orphanage. A girl about my size and a little boy followed their mother, who was holding a baby, into the management office. My mother quickly turned to me and quietly said, “I need you to take the girl outside and play with her while her mom relinquishes the baby up for adoption. She is your age. Her mom can’t afford to feed three children.”

It felt like the most important task I had ever been given. I remember her hair was orange — later I found out from malnutrition — and we kicked a ball back and forth. It was the only thing I could think of to do because of our language barrier, which we both smiled through for the next hour. I don’t remember her name, but I think of her often and wonder where she is or if she is still with us.

At the orphanage, we had countless days like this. Most of the children living at the orphanage and being adopted out to the United States had living relatives who simply could not afford to feed them. And after almost a decade, my mother and I wanted to do something to help these mothers keep their children. Something more than just offering to adopt them out. Surely, there was a way to keep mothers and babies together.

So, we started Trades of Hope! We offer an exclusive line of ethically made fair trade fashion and home accessories to increase the demand of products made my women in need around the world. By shopping their styles and given them a platform to use their voice, we increase job opportunities for thousands around the world. And we couldn’t do it without or amazing customers, hostesses, and partners — who are women just like you!

Statistically, when a woman has a job, she brings — not only herself — but 4 other people out of poverty with her. This can be her kids, extended family, or other members of her community!

But jobs are just scratching the SURFACE of what your JEWELRY can do!

#2 – Your jewelry can also fight human trafficking!

The jobs that the jewelry creates is wildly impactful in battling human trafficking! Yes! JEWELRY can battle human trafficking! Does anyone here have a passion for fighting human trafficking? If so, drop an “I do!” in the chat box!

When a woman in a developing community has a job, she is less likely to fall prey to human trafficking. Also, it is fairly common in some regions in the world for parents to sell their children into slavery for money. If those families had job with fair wages, this would be far less likely. This is how your jewelry can PREVENT human trafficking. But did you know it can actually also help trafficking survivors HEAL after being rescued?

The trafficking survivors that we work with in the Dominican Republic, Nepal, North Asia, and even the US have all said that creating something beautiful, and repetitively creating a high volume of the same pieces is therapeutic and helpful for recovery. Not only so, but having a job where they are treated with respect and earning their own money — many for the first time — miraculously transforms their self-esteem, confidence, and renews their sense of purpose in life!

We just released the Ava Bracelet, made by trafficking survivors in the Dominican Republic, which also supports children in a shelter rescued from trafficking. We recently heard from Nicole, a 16 year old mother who was rescued from human trafficking who is supported by the shelter and donations through Ava Bracelet purchase. She told us through tears, “Since I got here, I’ve learned that nothing is impossible. I have changed who I am as a person. I’ve learned that I have a lot of value.”

She also told us that she is studying in school so that she can create a better life for her son.

#3 – Which leads us to the 3rd way jewelry and jobs creates opportunity for women: GIRLS EDUCATION!

When mothers get fair-wage jobs, daughters get life-changing education. In many regions around the world, girls’ education is still considered inferior to that of boys. When parent’s do not receive income at a living wage, they often avoid schooling fees by keeping their daughters at home to work in the home or to get jobs working in other people’s homes. If they have to choose between educating the son or daughter, they determine it’s more beneficial for them to educate the son.

However, when girls are educated, it is beneficial for ALL PEOPLE — male and female — around the world. Educating girls leads to women in the work force. Utilizing only half the population results in an 50% smaller economy. The more adults in the work forces, the more an economy thrives.

But educated girls also address some of the world’s most heartbreaking realities! Educating girls alleviates poverty, battles human trafficking, and even reduces child marriage rates.

According to World Vision, “12 years of education for every girl would reduce child marriage globally by 64%.”

When you shop our jewelry as a customer or sell our jewelry for some side cash as a partner, you are making a direct impact in ALL of these issues!

I love that we’re talking about you now, because you are a big part of the next 2 ways jewelry can create opportunities for women!

 #4 – This jewelry even allows YOU to receive some extra income for yourself and your family!

Thousands of women just like you are earning 25% back on every Trades of Hope style they sell. We call them Partners. They literally partner with our Artisan partners around the world to create a higher demand for their fair-trade products. Partners make an impact on major global issues around the world like poverty, human trafficking, girls’ education, etc. And they aren’t experts on these issues! All they do is wear and share our truly irresistible line of accessories!

They are moms, students, retirees, career women who sell Trades of Hope on their own terms, wherever they want to slip it into their schedule.

Some women earn some monthly side cash to help with bills, and some women have replaced their salaries as teachers.

But what we love the most about it is the beautiful partnership it creates between women around the world.

Our Artisan partners know about our Partners in the US, some of them have even met face to face!

It’s women supporting women in its truest form.

#5 – Lastly, jewelry can create opportunity by offering you and our Artisans purpose and self-development.

The biggest surprise of Trades of Hope is how our jewelry has developed women personally — the women who make it and the women who sell it. Our partners often start off wanting to make an impact in the world, but not knowing how among their daily responsibilities! Have you ever felt that way? Before Trades of Hope, I sure did! I knew of these issues around the world but had no clue how I could tangibly help. But our partners transform from feeling a little lost, restless, or helpless into confident women who KNOW they are touching lives around the world. But the transformation happens for our Artisan partners as well.

Mosmeen, an Artisan from India whom I met a couple years ago, said,

“I was married off as a child, but my husband left me and our three children.
Trades of Hope is helping us by giving us valuable work to achieve our hopes and dreams.
It’s important that women become empowered and independent.
It gives us strength.
We’ve learned to speak what we believe in!”
– Mosmeen, Artisan in India

Do YOU believe in anything we talked about today? If you do, even just a little, I know you will not regret asking for more information from the partner who invited you here or to read more about being a partner on our website. I have met the women and seen the obstacles they are facing, so I’m not going to sugar coat it: You are the woman we have been waiting for. We have been waiting for you to enter into this partnership. Because the more partners we have, the more work we can provide for more women. And after a pandemic and turbulent year, you – wearing and sharing your favorite Trades of Hope pieces – has never been more impactful or purposeful!

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Elisabeth Huijskens

Elisabeth Huijskens

Elisabeth is a founder of Trades of Hope and is passionate about empowering women to boldly reach their dreams, here at home and around the world. She loves meeting our artisan partners, traveling to new cultures, and binging Downton Abbey episodes with her matching redhead puppy.