2017 was in an impactful year for the Madres Collective! Because of your support, we were able to make an even greater difference in the communities where we work.
1. Renovated Artisan Margarita's home: Margarita's family went from living over a dirt floor and using an outdoor latrine to having a smooth concrete floor and indoor restroom. Having these basic shelter needs met will improve her family's health outcomes, as well as the children's ability to learn and grow into healthy adults.
2. Partnered with Athleta: in 2017 were thrilled to receive a $5,000 grant from Athleta, a women's yoga brand that shares our core value of empowering women to live their best lives. The Madres Collective used this grant to contribute to Margarita's home renovations and to launch our Women's Leadership Academy.
3. Launched Women's Leadership Academy: With support from Athleta, we created a series of 8 interactive workshops designed to encourage confidence, inspire health, support wellness, improve financial stability, and unlock the limitless potential of the artisans of The Madres Collective. These workshops were delivered in collaboration with local Peace Corps volunteers.
4. Renovated Our Office in La Descubierta: Our office in La Descubierta, Dominican Republic isn't fancy. It's an old wooden house that we share with mosquitos and geckos, but we love it and we believe in keeping overhead low. That said, we enjoyed sprucing things up this summer by adding a pop of color to the walls and creating a darling little annex to showcase our products to visitors. The custom jewelry displays and wooden tables made by local craftsmen tied it all together to create a space we're proud of.
5. Expanded Artisan Partnerships and Product Lines: In 2017 we welcomed new artisans into the Madres Collective and added natural soaps and metal art to our product offerings! Kara traveled to Haiti and Guatemala to cultivate relationships with artisans and vet potential partners, and we launched a partnership with a new women's co-operative based in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. We are so thrilled to welcome even more women into our collective and offer you a larger selection of fair trade goods!
Thank you for partnering with us in 2017! We can't wait to see what 2018 brings.