Back in December during the Gifts that Give Holiday Market that I help put on with The Good Collaborative, we had a last minute vendor. It was an email out of the blue from an artisan from Tanzania (who just happened to be in Austin that week) who did incredible beadwork on necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and sandals. Throughout the week, I had the privilidge to get to know Gertrude and hear her story and learn from her experiences running a small business. I was so impressed with her confidence that there were jobs to be created and she was the one to do it in her town.
On the first day I worked the register, I kept seeing her adorable hand-beaded, multi colored tear drop earrings in people's shopping bags. After day two, I had purchased a pair as a gift for a good friend for Christmas. After day three, I asked Gertrude if she would be interested in partnering with Purse & Clutch by making an exclusive line just for us. Her high quality work and gorgeous designs won me over easily!
Obviously with a name like "Purse & Clutch" we sell handbags. But we like to expand our product line a bit with a speciality items when they catch our eye. Like gorgeous scarves from Cambodia or beautiful Christmas stockings from India.
And now, introducing for the first time: Statement Earrings!
Available in limited quantities, you can pick from four combinations of yellow, green, and white specifically designed for Purse & Clutch! And they make great gifts!
Here's an exerpt Getty sent me on how she got started:
African Crafts by Gertrude was founded in 2002 by Gertrude Protas Kitia and Helen S. Walker-Hill as an outlet for the handcrafts made by women in the town of Usa River near Arusha in north-central Tanzania. One hundred precent of the proceeds are returned to support the craftswomen of this rapidly growing town which is in great need of economic development.
Help spread the word! Tweet, Instagram, Pin, and Facebook your favorite pair of earrings and let people know that high quality, beautiful earrings made by artisans who were fairly compensated are not only available, but are adorable, too!