Fair Trade Jewelry and Ethical Fashion

Sneak a Peek at How Stars of Haiti Begin

by | Artisans

Sneak a Peek at How Stars of Haiti Begin – (Read Time 1 min.)

Trades of Hope is celebrating the holidays with handcrafted ornaments from Haiti, where our mission to keep families together began.

Creating Sustainable Solutions

After years of operating charities in communities where extreme poverty forced many parents to give up their children to orphanages, Trades of Hope founder, Gretchen Huijskens, was determined to find a sustainable solution. 

Gretchen had seen, firsthand, how charity often provided temporary relief, making it possible for some families to be reunited, only to be torn apart again when the charity ran out. She’d seen single moms working hard to try to make money any way they could, but their lack of education and job opportunities prevented them from being able to provide well for their children, every day.

Creating Beauty from Boxes

During the holiday season, they create festive and fun Stars of Haiti ornaments. Artisans begin by cutting cardboard boxes into thin strips and rolling them onto chopsticks. To create cone-shaped beads, they cut the cardboard into triangular strips. Each ball of rolled up cardboard is coated with glue to bind the layers together and form a solid bead.

Once the glue has dried, the Artisans varnish the beads to make them water resistant. The round and cone-shaped cereal box beads are woven together by hand with glass beads to create the unique and colorful star-inspired shapes. Once a red ribbon is added, your Stars of Haiti ornament is ready to hang on your holiday tree!

These ornaments are handcrafted by mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends who are working together to overcome poverty and experience new lives filled with hope.

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  1. Kim

    Love the stars. They are my absolute favorite.

    • Elisabeth Huijskens

      I’m so glad you love them, Kim! They are a crowd favorite, for sure! And the impact behind them? Well, that makes them all the more special.


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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.