We are so excited to introduce you to one of our Favorite Do Good Brands
They are this months Giv Partner, giving back a gift for each subscriber to wear and share, handmade by their amazing Artisans. Listen & fall in love with this amazing founder, and human about to tell us all why her passion lead to building others up through do good products for all of us to buy!
Abeba Collective Interview
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Believer of purpose and design, seeker of truth, and explorer of what is good and hopeful in the world. First, I am not your typical designer, or entrepreneur. I am more activist than entrepreneur and more scholar than fashionista. While perceived binaries, these contrasting elements converge at the nexus and heart of my work. Yes, I am a business owner, designer, university professor and researcher, loving wife, and proud mama – somehow this all makes sense together. Whether in the classroom, in the field, through by business, or in my own home, I’m drawn to innovate and create where there is suffering, inequality, and despair. As a young researcher, I spent years studying community development is some of the most challenging environments in South America, this was the foundation upon which of my later career was built. Years later, I now have the privilege of serving as a university professor and dean and am so blessed by the opportunities that I have to create impact, difference, hope, and healing for communities both locally and globally. In 2019, after investing in community development projects in Ethiopia, birthplace of my two sons who joined our family through adoption, our family decided to formally launch the Abeba Collection lifestyle brand.
- What inspired your idea of your company?
After traveling to Ethiopia to adopt our sons, in 2008, and then again in 2015, we had a desire to both provide support for community development in Ethiopia as well as provide a tangible connection to our son’s beautiful birth country, culture, and heritage. Listening to the voices of our Ethiopian friends and partners, the decision to provide a platform to expand the global market reach of social entrepreneurs producing ethically crafted artisan products was made, and The Abeba Collection curated lifestyle brand was born.
3. How did you come up with your company name?
I love this question because our company name is very intentional, and central to the mission that we purpose at the Abeba Collection. Abeba, meaning flower in Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia, represents the hardworking, fruitful, strong, and beautiful women empowered through Abeba’s partner organizations in Ethiopia.
- You have such a fun vibrant vibe when it comes to your brand, where do you think that came from? Who or what inspired you?
We are inspired by the women and men, and their stories, behind our collections. Each collection blends traditional fabrics and methods, with contemporary and modern design. In addition, we are inspired to champion sustainability and responsible design practices. For example, responsibly sourcing cotton and leather, and utilizing many repurposed and upcycled materials. The core of our mission is to empower women to transform their communities, this involves prioritizing fair trade practices, to include not only fair wages and dignified work, but also honoring traditional and cultural designs and sustainability – we are really proud of the way that we seek to do this throughout the design and production process.
- Did you have any fears to start your own company? What made you just do it?
Yes, for sure! Starting The Abeba Collection definitely took some courage, which doesn’t mean that we stopped being scared, it just means that we did it anyway.
- What’s your favorite thing about what you create daily?
Our company has three pillars: Purposefully Crafted, Thoughtfully Purchased, and Intentionally Connected. I’d say my favorite thing, day-to-day, is the opportunity to Intentionally Connect our artisans and partner organizations to our customers. Empowering not only our artisans to transcend poverty, but also empowering our customers to make conscious consumption choices.
- What will people experience by following your brand online?
We believe that followers will be inspired by beautiful and timeless design and find hope in the tangible connections to the artisans employed through our partners. In addition, we are a learning community, continuing to evolve in our understanding of fair trade and ethical fashion, and we invite our followers to join us in that journey.
- What is your favorite product trend this spring 2019?
I’d say designs that feel fresh and new but are also rooted and earthy. For example, lots of woven and chunky fabrics, and even grasses are being incorporated this season. It reminds we that time honored artisanry and materials still have a place in how we curate our modern homes and wardrobes.
- What does a day in the life look like for you? How do you balance it all being a CEO/founder with your personal life?
No two days look alike! More than balance, I seek integration, each element enriching, not competing with, the other. We also love incorporating the whole family into the mission of our company. For example, this past July our entire family traveled to Ethiopia to work with our artisan partners and design our fall collections.
- What advice would you tell someone who wants to live their passion, start their own company, but are nervous to just start?
I’d say that if it is truly your purpose, a passion that you can connect to the things that matter most deeply to you, then you just go for it. This does not mean that you don’t seek input, do your research, plan… be willing to edit and reinvent, because you should do all those things. Ultimately you have to choose what you want to make time for in your life, we cannot choose everything, and sometimes it takes a lot of courage to choose the things that really matter the most and are the most deeply connected to what we believe and value.
11. What was your inspiration behind your current products you offer online?
Traditional cultural designs, artisanry, and natural and sustainable resources from Ethiopia, the location of our first three flagship partners, inspires our current collection.
12. How do you spread the word about your company?
With amazing people just like you! When you become a customer of The Abeba Collection, you become part of the story and we hope that you will share your story with others.
13. Any favorite quotes that you love and inspires you?
When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending. Brene Brown
"Courage is the willingness to act in spite of fear."-Michael Hyatt
14. Why did you choose the free product highlight in the Giv Box? Tell us more about your brands mission and how that aligns with the Giv Box so well.
Abeba Collection products are not ordinary, each beautiful and unique item is hand-crafted by skilled artisans who are employed by locally owned and locally operated businesses in the country of origin. Through our local partners, Abeba Collection products support economic development, education, healthcare, and social and emotional wellbeing not only for the artisans, but also for their families. Our partner organizations provide more than stable and dignified employment opportunities, they empower and transform communities to reach their potential.
When you purchase an Abeba Collection product you choose intention over impulse and fair-trade instead of fast fashion. Our Abeba Collection partners responsibly source materials from within their region as well as establish wholesale prices that prioritize fair-trade practices, provide dignified workspaces, and empower social and economic development. Abeba Collection products are designed to bring timeless beauty and character to your home, workspace, and wardrobe while creating lasting impact within the community of origin.
We believe in creating beautiful lifestyle pieces for your spaces and wardrobe and know that where and how we curate our collections matters. Connecting the conscious spirit to the artisan soul, your purchase from the Abeba Collection is not charity, it is empowerment.
- What other products do you offer online? Where can they go shop other fun products you offer?
We have three main products lines at this time, bags and leather goods, jewelry, and woven goods. Though, we are continually working with our partners to expand and offer additional products, so check back with us regularly. All products are handmade by artisans, with intention given to the supply chain from beginning to end. We prioritize fair trade practices, empowering women to transform their communities.
Everything we offer can be found at www.abebacollection.com
Our bags and leather goods are made of the highest quality leather, with some items combining traditional woven heritage fabrics. These pieces are designed to last and truly get better with age.
Our artisan jewelry collection combines the best of on-trend designs with sustainable fashion practices. All materials are sourced in the country of origin, and made of recycled, repurposed, or sustainable materials. Paper beads are created through a unique process popular in the region, clay beads are formed from the rich earth, and metal beads and embellishments are crafted from bullet casings which are sourced by farmers who repurpose these remnants of conflicts past.
Our blankets and woven collection, all from handspun cotton sourced in country (Ethiopia), are one of-a-kind lifetime pieces for your home. Each piece taking between two to five days to create, and no two items being exactly a like – truly an heirloom collection. However, they are amazingly practical, being both durable and machine washable!
- Where can people find you online to shop?
Check us out at www.abebacollection.com!
Stay up to date on our latest products and receive special discounts by subscribing to our email.
Don’t forget to follow us on IG for fun updates, inspiring stories, and giveaways @abebacollection
(a must follow, trust us)
Have a question, just send over an email and we’d love to connect: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in hosting an in-home trunk show for you and your friends (with some great perks for the host!), or request a pop-up shop for your market, event, or business - reach out today and we will see what we can do. We love creative opportunities for collaboration!
- Do you believe that creating products that are connected to impact will create change? And Why?
YES! Empowering women, who are often marginalized, as change makers within their communities is an intentional choice for The Abeba Collection; harnessing the “multiplier effect;” data supporting the notion that women earning a living wage not only rise individually, but their families and entire communities rise with them, creating peaceful and stable societies. Additionally, The Abeba Collection, and its partners, are committed to a triple bottom line approach; balancing profit, social impact, and sustainability. Focusing on the artisan sector is both culturally significant and economically smart. According to the Artisan Alliance “the artisan sector is the second-largest employer in the developing world after agriculture, worth over $32 billion every year. Hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, particularly women, participate in the artisan sector. Artisan activity creates jobs, increases local incomes, and preserves ancient cultural traditions that in many places are at risk of being lost.”
You can find their sweet gift, leather earrings to go with your Oct. box in EVERY BOX THIS MONTH!! No extra cost, just their way to giving back to those who choose to job different, to shop and empower! Thank you....and we can't wait for more of your brand across the globe.
CHECK OUT THEIR FREE GIFT IN YOUR BOX THIS MONTH.
Click the image to grab your free gift!!