WHAT WE DO
Promote gender equality and empowerment by generating opportunities for indigenous women to sustain economic growth by exposing and selling their trade.
We go beyond the traditional design piece.
Empowering rural women is key to achieving transformational economic, environmental and social changes required for sustainable development. In order to achieve this, we seek to provide economic independence through maximizing their entrepreneurial projects, in this case their crafts. This independence would ultimately increase the well-being of individuals, families and rural communities.
Indigenous women represent one of the largest under resourced groups in Panama. During their lifetime 9 out of 10 indigenous women are likely to suffer from triple discrimination: being poor, being a woman and being indigenous. For most, the artisanship is their business but commercializing outside of their community is a challenge. We bring their trades and goals to you as we intent to see these women provide a constant source of family income by exposing their trade around the world.
Artisans utilize the sales of their trades to subsist. In their own right, they are all innovators and entrepenuers. We boost their potential.
Indigenous women have once and again demonstrated great capacity for organizing and executing collectively. Some of their setbacks lie in the lack of support to innovate and build capacity. Their cultural preservation and livelihood is linked to the development of their capacities as artisans and business owners. We aim to reinvest a portion of the sales to building capacity and innovation in order to motivate the artisans and empower the next generation to continue the traditions.
After going through a number of trainings and collections each artisan will have the power to decide their year goal and make adjustments where needed to boost next year´s sales.
Each artisan sets up a yearly sales goal to support a particular life investment, ie. school and uniforms for their children, home improvements and business supplies.
Once we have met certain sales goals we begin investing in building their capacities and thus, the innovation process for the next collection begins.
After they have set up their goals we generate a profile for each artisan and their trade. We plan the collection and add the trades to our catalog.
We monitor each sale and adjust the goal which gives us an indication of where each artisan stands.
WHO WE ARE
In 2017 two long time friends traveled to the community of Piriatí Emberá located in the Eastern region of Panamá. Gabriela had been working in this community for over six years through a nonprofit organization and Fernanda a local fashion designer had previously worked on a collection inspired by local indigenous cultures from the same region. As they both met with Eloida, a local community leader and listened to her story they both realized that their passions had collided in the most inspiring and promising way. They listened and observed while acknowledging that these women entreprenuers had the exact same aspirations and dreams but support and opportunity were insufficient. They decided to unify their interests and work alongside these women to expose not only their trades but also their collective artisan life and personal goals. Panama holds one of the world´s most diverse indigenous heritage but the cultural preservation of these social groups is often overlooked and neglected. Through fairness, mentoring and responsibility we aim to go beyond the traditional design piece and make these women known for who they are, and what they are capable of as artisans, innovators and community leaders.
Gabriela Valencia is a panamanian architect and aspiring social innovator that has had the priviledge of working with over 20 rural communities in Panama. She has also been a collaborator to international development organizations such as Global Brigades and Think Impact. Through her years of work she has met outstanding women and community members that have inspired her to embrace social entreprenuership as a way to subsist and equally collaborate with others.
"I am moved by how much empowerment is created when women support and believe in other women."
Fernanda Quiros is a panamenian architect and fashion designer that has worked with several international brands spearheading the creation of a variety of new clothing lines. She is an experienced collection developer, client-market analyst and trend forecaster. Currently, she works as an international fashion buyer for one of Latin America´s largest retail stores. Her first collection as a fashion designer in Panama was named Pura Jagua, which was inspired by her love for the embera wounaan artistic traditions.
"I am in love with design and constantly inspired by Panama´s meshing of cultures."