Laura started this workshop 10+ years ago to help young women in a rural village in Mexico. At first it was one small workshop with basic tools. We have grown to three workshops with a wide variety of tools and equipment for producing an incredible variety of jewelry supplies.
The women learn a trade, make a living, and help strengthen their families. At first it was only women who joined us to learn and work. However, currently we employ 20 people total. Each of them is happy and proud to have meaningful work and they are so very grateful for the opportunity to learn.
Some of the women have been empowered to built homes for themselves and their families. For this small village it is very unusual for a woman to make such a good living. Many are the sole support of their extended homes. Mom, Dad, brothers and sisters, cousins, all live together and help each other. Our village is mostly agriculture, so for women there are very few options outside of marriage. These young women have all learned they can control their lives and make decisions that are different than their parents.
Another project we have begun is helping others in the village. We have recently started giving away food bags with enough food to last a week! We give these to people who are unable to work or provide for themselves.
Laura's background is in Lampwork glass beads. Thus, the first products we offered were those, then came Copper Enamel. After that a friend opened the door for us to make metal blanks! That is where things really took off, now we produce our own metal sheet and wire from raw metals. We work with Copper, Brass, Bronze, Nickel Silver, Sterling Silver, and Aluminum. Our line of claw rings and ring blanks has furthered our ability to bring in new members. We have begun to do lost wax casting and hope to launch those products soon.
We have learned so much together, most I have never done before. It is so much fun to learn new things! We all work hard and we hope all our customers enjoy our products! They are so proud of all the skills they learn. The women and men here have learned so much it is incredible!