DEVELOPMENT | Community Based Companies


I've been distinctly MIA since the turtle nesting season kick off coincided with the start of production at work (sorry Stace). For those of you in the dark on what that means, the endangered Leatherback Turtle nesting season is integral to the community organisation Nature Seekers in Matura, Trinidad where I work as Programme Coordinator for Craft. It runs from March to August and attracts some 10,000 visitors annually, providing much needed employment opportunities for local residents through turtle tours and data collection. This sudden influx of visitors also means there is a captive audience for the jewellery produced by the 17 community members now employed through the Nature Seekers Craft Programme. We ran a training programme in January and February and started producing in March. They've been working hard for four weeks now and developing production schedules and inventory systems, and working on product development is taking up all of my time, especially as we are trying to keep up with the overwhelming local demand for our  product. My vision is to take the amazing recycled glass, paper and natural jewellery coming out of this lively beachside community to the world. As such I have been spending a lot of time checking out the competition and looking at companies who already successfully work with small community groups to produce amazing product and retail it internationally. Below is a quick round-up of some awesome companies, doing great work and producing lovely things! 

 Community Companies - Inspiration

The Andean Collection - work with 8 Fair Trade workshops in Ecuador (from left to right): Carmen Cascade Necklace |  Empire Earring | Bullhorn Skinny Bangle | Plaza Stackable Rings | Playita Necklace

31 Bits - work with over 100 women in Gulu, Uganda (from left to right):  Ferrimond Necklace | Parcel Loom Bracelet | Bubbles Bracelet | The Lavalliere Necklace | The Westerly Clutch 

Mar Y Sol - work with artisans in Madagascar (from left to right): Opal Applique Clutch | Madame Crocheted Zip Pouches | Havana Striped Carryall | Marais Crocheted Drawstring Tote 

I'll put together some pictures of what we're making in Matura soon.

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