Your questions answered– International Partnerships Edition
Over the years, we've gotten so many questions about our manufacturing practices, who we choose to partner with, and how we monitor those choices after they have been made. We love getting these questions from you– we are so proud to have a customer base that cares where their things are made and who makes them!
We decided to give you the 101 here– these are our big ideas, rules to live by, and questions we most frequently receive when we choose which international partners will produce our products.
#1: We only partner with entrepreneurs who create quality products and empower women in the ways they run their businesses.
Sometimes, it’s as simple as that. Since quality and the empowerment of women are at the core of who we are and what we do, it only makes sense that it is just as important to our manufacturers. As for where our products are made? Currently they are produced in 6 different countries: Ethiopia, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, India, and the US.
#2: We do not own or operate any of our international manufacturing.
This is a conscious choice.
We believe that the entrepreneurs, local to the area, know and understand their communities better than we do. Instead of showing up with a “we know best” mentality, we equip these entrepreneurs to be leaders within their communities and do what’s best by their employees. But why stop there? We also like to educate our partners on why livable wages and employment for women are so important.
#3: The only production we do own is right here in Nashville.
We believe in the value of empowering our local community, which is why we started producing jewelry here in 2015. We now have around 20 female artisans (!!!) from various backgrounds working in our jewelry studio.
#4: How do we pick which countries to manufacture in?
We look for the intersection of two things:
- A developing economy with access to high quality raw materials
- A community that needs employment opportunities for women
#5: How do we pick which entrepreneurs to partner with?
All of our potential partners go through a screening process before we create a partnership with them.
We have created standards that help us achieve our goals (aka empowering women to end generational poverty). It’s crucial that our partners adhere to those standards as well. They include:
- Provide fair wages and benefits
- Safe working conditions
We maintain close relationships with our international partners to continue to check in on these standards, as well as ensuring that as they grow, so do the opportunities for women.
Have more questions about our international partnerships? Let us know!