The project that creates the knitted stockings and Christmas ornaments was started with seed funding from Save the Children to create jobs and help promote Armenian crafts. The project now employs over 600 women who were previously without work in Armenia’s struggling economy. They enjoy a safe work environment and earn a living wage with a respect for their cultural traditions. Their expert sewing work is vital to our pillows and stockings.
Our beaded ornaments and pins are made by a women’s co-operative in a small village on the shores of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. The women work in groups of five or so to produce these designs. The glass beads are placed in a multicolored pile upon a flat surface in front of each woman, and are picked up on needles held between each woman's thumb and index finger in a process so quick and precise that it seems like sleight of hand. As beads accrue, the sculpture emerges. Beaders must learn to weave or sculpt each new design separately, and to achieve the uniformity necessary they must memorize hundreds of steps for each figure. Very good beaders can produce up to two pieces in a day.