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Emelyn’s Story of Hope in the Philippines

by | Artisans

Read Time: 1 min.

Searching for Hope

When Emelyn was a little girl, her family moved from their village in the Philippines to the city – hoping her father could find a sustainable job with good wages. But the income from his new job wasn’t enough to provide for their family of six. After financial struggles forced Emelyn and her siblings to drop out of school during her first year of college, Emelyn went to work at a fast-food restaurant.

Opportunities for Hope

At the restaurant, she met the granddaughter of a local businesswoman who taught women how to make jewelry and art from capiz shells. Amazed by the Artisans’ creativity, Emelyn eagerly learned each step of the production process and enjoyed earning a better income doing a job she loved.

Emelyn, Capiz Artisan in the Philippines
Emelyn, Capiz Artisan in the Philippines

Now, at only twenty-four years old, Emelyn is able to support her parents, send her younger brother back to school, and buy land to build her family a home.

Empowered by Hope

Emelyn’s determination to overcome relentless personal challenges earned the respect of her fellow Artisans, including the workshop’s owner, who recently transferred their capiz production to operate under the management of her granddaughter’s and Emelyn’s partnership.

Every purchase of our natural capiz shell earrings helps empower Emelyn to lead and inspire her Artisan community.

 “Live life to the fullest by loving your work, enjoying your workmates, learning to improve, and offering a helping hand to others, because it will lead you to become a better person and succeed.” – Emelyn, Capiz Artisan in the Philippines

What would you like to see these Artisans make next?


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Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas is an inspirational writer with a passion for helping women discover and celebrate their unique gifts and abilities. Kathy is part of the Communications Team at Trades of Hope focusing on Artisan advocacy.


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Trades of Hope is an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand that helps women around the world escape poverty and trafficking through our fair trade designs. Learn how you can partner with Artisans around the world here.