Every morning, as that buzzing alarm sounds far-too-early, I peek out the window. It's decision time. Before I even roll out of bed I'm wondering,"What am I going to wear today?" Especially in Colorado, the mornings can be cold, the afternoons hot, and the evenings rather chilly. How to cover all that fickle goodness?
My excellent solution lies in the versatile skirt. Easily paired with boots, flats, a cardigan, or tank top, skirts are an essential piece to any wardrobe, as they offer an easy solution to my spring-time dilemma. Because of these fantastic qualities, Yobel knew that we MUST add a skirt to our growing Fair Trade clothing collection.
Our friends down in Juarez have directed their own sewing co-op for the past 3 years, discovering their sewing abilities and establishing sustainable provisions for their families. After sewing stuffed birdies, bibs, aprons, and scarves, we knew they were ready….ready for the big leagues. Apparel.
The skirts are beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces. Created in small batches, these graphic prints don't last long! So get yourself down to Yobel today, and snatch yourself up a skirt. The sun keeps tempting us out of those jeans ladies, and you know it's time to sport those stems you've been hiding all winter!
There is a term here at Yobel that we like to use entitled the 'last ten percent'….LTP if you will. LTP is the finishing touch, the icing on the cake, the glitter on your greeting card. For most women, that translates as: ACCESSORIES. My personal favorite accessory to wear is jewelry, namely, earrings. Earrings, in my humble opinion, are a game changer. A simple outfit can become fabulous with a great pair of earrings. After a long run of wearing big, dramatic earrings, I've turned a corner, looking for a "smaller earring" option. Many failed attempts later, I have found the perfect pair. And what do you know, they're right here literally under my nose. I am pleased to introduce you to the Hammered Brass Collection at Yobel Market.
Made deep in the southern region of India - Tamil Nadu to be specific - these little beauties are the source of some major opportunity for a group of women who now get to design and create jewelry. These skills bring status to them and their families within this society, oftentimes for the very first time. Each individual piece of hammered brass is hand-cut to perfection, creating the perfect combination of handmade beauty with quality and class.
With designs for every personality, this is an addition to your jewelry collection that you don't want to miss. Visit Yobel Market today to find the style that's just right for you. Can't make it in? Never fear. Visit our website for earrings and more!
*Kylie's got fancy did some mix'n and match'n*
Looking for some versatile jewelry to dress up for all those holiday parties and get-togethers? Searching for a gift to give that person who is so difficult to buy for? Look no further than Yobel’s crocheted silver jewelry handmade by women in Peru. These earrings and necklaces are one of a kind and can be worn with everything from a wedding dress to jeans on a casual night out with friends.
Skilled women in Lima, Peru are able to provide their children with an education using the income they receive from selling their beautiful jewelry. Just Trade and the Zoe Project give these women opportunities to use their skills and creativity to design beautiful and unique pieces. Several of these women used to work long hours in factories and had to be away from their children all day. By partnering with the Zoe Project, they are able to work from home and spend time with their families while still providing for their financial needs. Nieves uses her income from making jewelry to pay for her own education and to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher one day. Each woman’s story is different, but all share the common thread of being able to use their skills and creative ideas to make something beautiful that will provide a sustainable income and a bright future for themselves and their families.
Brightening your kitchen with a splash of color? Organizing your keys and knick-knacks, perhaps?There's simply no end to the possibilities with these handwoven baskets! They're made from hand-dyed Sisal Grass in Rwanda, and each one has a story.
Take Epiphania, for example. A mother of two, she pays for school materials with the money she earns making baskets. She's just one of the women participating in this income generation project.
So go ahead. Treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind basket. Fill it with fresh apples ... or pile it with Halloween candy! And make a purchase that brings freedom and dignity at the same time.
Looking for a good wedding or housewarming gift? Why not choose a beautifully crafted cutting board! These rustic cutting boards are made from remnant wood pieces from local builders in West Virginia. The wood is handpicked for each piece from Appalachia. These beautiful cutting boards come in a chevron, tribal, or herringbone pattern, but if you would like to personalize a cutting board to make a special gift, you can send a high resolution graphic to Yobel and receive a custom gift in two to three weeks! Not only are the designs eye-catching, the cutting board is functional and easy to store. It can be used to serve charcuterie and cheeses, and is great for chopping vegetables. Whether sitting on the counter or hanging on the wall, it is sure to look fantastic!
Your purchase of a Richwood Cutting Board supports Young Life Ministries in Richwood, West Virginia by providing them with sustainable funding. Young Life Ministries works to empower youth by building relationships, providing life-changing experiences, nurturing, encouraging, and helping young people to develop the skills and attitudes they will need to be successful. When buying a Richwood Cutting Board, you not only receive a beautifully crafted and uniquely designed cutting board, you help youth in West Virginia reach their true potential through loyal relationships with mentors who are committed to helping young people become all they can be. Next time you are on the lookout for a great gift, or simply need a quality cutting board, look no further than the Richwood Cutting Boards at Yobel!
The fact that I even ended up going to Juarez was a bit of a surprise, even to me. Just one week before we left, the seed was planted with an invitation saying “don’t say someone else’s no for them.” So, I requested off work, and lo-and-behold, a mere day before the group left I was officially going to Juarez!
As we prepared to leave, most of our team heard similar things when we told people we were going to Juarez; generally something about fears of us being shot, blown-up, or kidnapped by the “rampant drug cartels”. We had to separate ourselves from news reports and well-meaning friends and family in order to choose to be a part of this trip.
Now I ask you to do the same thing as you think about that desert city just across El Paso's border. To ask you to see beyond a world of fear and pity for the 1 million who spend their lives there, raising their children, seeking meaningful work, building their communities; and instead to celebrate the Juarez that is coming.
I don’t mean to take the violence lightly. I won’t lie, I intentionally didn’t take out my pricey camera equipment during our 1 block walk down the street. I saw no need to draw more attention to my blue-eyed fair-skinned self than I already was. I couldn’t help feeling uneasy when a line of cops drove past. I was somewhat relieved when our wonderful and knowledgeable hosts preferred we did not spend much time at all exploring the town beyond the predetermined couple blocks. There are still plenty of rightful fears, but those fears are noticeably lifting. The community is still struggling, but they are dusting off and finding their feet. Palo Chino is a colonia (neighborhood) that truly believes that “if God is for us, who can be against us”.
I have so much to say about our 3 days in this precious city. I would love to talk about the incredible business training experience, and our amazing friend and interpreter Fred, who somehow made business vocabulary and math more interesting and funny than we could have alone. I could talk about watching Julia teach the Mujeres Fuertes a new tailoring pattern, and then watching their beautiful leader Carmen come alongside and continue to help. And oh, could I talk about the breakfast program at the elementary school that has changed it from one of the lowest performing schools in the city to one of the highest, and all of those sweet, sweet faces that I wanted to sneak across the border with me! But I don’t think today is the day for a novel. I’ll save some of these things for others to elaborate on, or for a lunch/coffee date. Instead, I’ll focus on a few things I want to make sure are celebrated.
A word that came up during the one Juarez trip meeting that I made it to was “stewardship”. Typically this word comes alongside things like farming or finances. However, from the moment we set foot in Palo Chino, I kept seeing the people of that neighborhood using incredible stewardship with what they had been given. They are definitely not the servants referred to in the well-known parable who are burying their talents, but instead the one multiplying them. I can be quite a cynic when it comes to giving aid for impoverished communities, but my experience in Juarez has proved to be a model of growth. Change hasn’t been overnight, but growth over the past year has been noticeable, even to someone like me who has only heard second-hand stories of what it used to look like. What I saw is that there isn't a sense of dependency. Yes, we had some things to offer; a business training, some sewing patterns we’d like to see in product form, able bodies to help with some manual labor, but they weren’t waiting around for us to get started.
The women were finding patterns on their own and already making school uniforms and purses for their own markets. They were making curtains and mending clothing. They have tripled the size of their tailoring school of their OWN initiative. Juan has been making investments in his “farm”, breeding goats and chickens to sell, and giving eggs to the school’s breakfast program (and our lucky team a couple of mornings as well). Carmen is finding additional funding for the Mujeres Fuertes sewing project, and trying new things to sell on her own. They were eager and grateful for our presence and partnership in offering additional training, but they were not looking for a handout, they weren’t expecting an easy solution. Our friends in Juarez want to do and are hungry for the how.
For this, we need to celebrate!
At one point in the business training even my brain was struggling to retain information, and I had everything in my own language. Elvira, a beautiful elderly woman was diligently taking notes at the table I was sitting at, and in my Junior-year-of-high-school-level spanish, I commented on how it was a lot information, hoping to make her feel ok if she was a little overwhelmed. She immediately replied “Yes, but it’s very important information.” If this woman was at all phased by any of the business jargon and broad scope of ideas, she didn’t show it. She was glowing when she received her certificate of completion.
For this, we need to celebrate!
Yobel is working to “set the captives free” and “break the chains bondage.” These chains, this slavery, is not always so physically apparent. There is bondage of fear, of lack of education, of low self-esteem, of being told you can’t or shouldn’t waste your time, of hopelessness. But, this past weekend I saw evidence of these chains being broken, and people walking away from them. I saw self-respect, confidence, excitement, joy, ownership, and understanding that they can.
We get the joy of not wasting our gifts, but multiplying them with our friends in Juarez. We get the joy of participating, of partnering, and of continuing to see transformation occur.
For this, and all of these things my friends, please join me celebrating!
Everyone needs a cute and functional place to keep their change, credit cards, and cash on the go. If you're like me, you need a wallet with enough space to accommodate far more gift cards, membership cards, and business cards than you really need. This silk Sak Saum Wallet is the perfect place to put all those cards with four credit card spaces and five full length pockets to hold cash, coupons, change, and receipts. Not only will it hold all your "buy ten, get one free" cards, in white, red, and blue with flower designs, it is a stylish way to keep all your important on the go necessities organized and easily accessible.
Sak Saum, the Khmer word for dignity, is the name of this project that helps rescue, rehabilitate, and restore human trafficking victims in Cambodia. Each year, Sak Saum trains 12 girls in sustainable business, and they now have over 50 men and women in a full time vocational training center. Sak Saum provides food, medical and dental care, transportation, fair trade salaries, education, and housing as needed. They also provide women with opportunities to take English language courses and literacy classes in the official Cambodian language. Through Sak Saum, vulnerable and exploited women in the Phnom Penh and Saang District are trained in sewing, design, and organization. With these skills, they craft unique wallets from primarily reclaimed cloth, turning abandoned items into something beautiful. So when you are looking for a new wallet, why not choose one that not only has the organized space you need, but is a fashionable addition to your every day outings and helps to provide women in Cambodia with the skills they need to provide for a great future.
When many of you think of Yobel, your thoughts can so quickly flash to our signature shirt stating boldly, "Set The Captives Free."
It's a message we have spoken loud and clear since the day that Yobel was born. To come alongside those who are broken, battered, pushed to the fringes, and bring life, dignity, hope, and freedom to them. Some of those people live in other countries, some of them live in our own, and some of them are the very shoulders we rub day in and out. There is no formula for how people arrive in this place. But there is also no need for them to stay there. Yet, the answers seem so out of reach for them.
We fight to bring answers to these people. To give them the skills and knowledge to change their own circumstances. What once seemed impossible, is now an option for our friends here and all over the world. A chance to effect their families, friends, communities, and countries as a whole.
By purchasing one of these shirts, you are joining in the fight. The fight for freedom, hope, and the idea that people all over the world get to live a free and dignifying life; a life that they can be proud of.
I’m really indecisive. Sometimes I have a hard time deciding what to eat for breakfast, let alone what to wear, but these unique temple bead earrings make one decision easy. In sea colors and rose, they go with just about any outfit. They are handcrafted, so each piece is one of a kind. You can walk out the door knowing that no one will have earrings quite like yours.
These charming earrings are made by women in Tamil Nadu, Southern India. Yobel partners with UK based Just Trade and Via Design, who offers craft training and encouragement to help these women learn to provide for themselves through social enterprise. While creating this beautiful jewelry, they work in an ethically sound, supportive environment and earn a fair wage. Because of the skills these women have gained, they can provide for themselves and their families.
Why not save yourself a little time in the morning and invest in some earrings that will look fabulous no matter how many times you change your outfit, all while helping women in India learn to support themselves.