As a new Compassionate Entrepreneur, I’m enjoying learning about all of the ways Trades of Hope has been able to empower women in difficult circumstances. One story that I found particularly inspiring was that of our Thailand women artisan group.
Recently, Co-Founder Chelsie Antos was able to visit an artisan group there and share these stories and pictures with Compassionate Entrepreneurs.
A woman named Aoi (Pronounced Oyye) started a part of the Thai group. She grew up in a small farming village, but left to pursue business. She ended up coming back because she was passionate about her community. She wanted to give the women in her community an opportunity outside of farming. If they don’t end up farming, many women in her village leave their homes, sometimes without their families, to go work in big cities and to send the money back. Aoi shared that she loved that she can give a creative opportunity to these women while they are able to stay home with their families. She is such an amazing and intelligent business woman.
Noi (Pronounced Noy) is an artisan who makes the Harper Necklace. She is pictured holding up some unfinished necklaces that she had been working on.
Toon (Pronounced Tune) is pictured making the Pearls of Hope Necklace. Toon loves making these because she says it requires a lot of patience. When you have a hard day, patience is a wonderful gift. She loves that this job has helped her family and that she can sometimes work from home.
The artisan group has been so successful that they have been able to create a bracelet from which part of the proceeds are donated to an elephant sanctuary. The bracelet is named the Honor Bracelet. Proceeds donated help elephants like Baby Tulu pictured below. Many elephants in Thailand are abused, but this sanctuary has rescued some.
It’s beautiful and inspiring to know that the artisans have been able to give back to their own community! After hearing this story, I proudly wear my own Honor Bracelet made by these talented and successful business women.