Sisterhood in the DR

"The Collective Sisterhood has been built, made, woven together. It represents the melding of women from different cultures, different locations. The Collective is saying to each other “I See You”. Each piece of jewelry is a maker piece that has truth in it’s bones, the truth of a carefully crafted woven fabric of relationship that brings to bear a foundation, support and talisman for you to draw strength from, for you to feel beautiful in, for you to connect yourself to this energy of sisterhood. Put them on, dance in them, be sad in them, but know that you have chosen to enter in and are seen."

I felt this "sisterhood" connection with these women more than ever on my most recent trip!  What an amazing time of laughing, praying, learning from each other, hearing these women's stories, learning to persevere together, and encouraging each other. 

Jewelry: I am so amazed at how quickly these women catch on.  I was able to lay a new design in front of them and within minutes Elly was measuring, directing and showing the women what to do.  I was able to sit back and watch and of course I had a smile on my face because this is the GOAL.  To teach and then let these women take it on themselves.  Wow.  This was one of those "moments" that I will refer back to often. A "moment" of seeing how God comes to fruition and there is excitement in the air and a realization that this is what I am supposed to be doing with my life.  Encouraging, teaching, empowering women, and then letting go in order to let them step up with confidence, skills and leadership of their own. This TRULY happened on this trip. 

Conversations: My hope in this business/work has always been to really hear the women I work with.  To continue asking hard questions and always make sure that making jewelry is something they want to do.  I also want to know how it impacts their daily lives and why making an income matters.  The candid conversation we were able to have with a few women was life-changing for me.  And all the more motivating to continue on this uphill journey of starting a business.  We learned that most families need between $10-15 USD to feed their family of five per day. Most of these women are not receiving this much from their husbands to buy food, so they are supplementing the difference with their own income.  Where is this income coming from?  Jewelry, salon services, and sewing.  But most of the women do not have these skills to earn an extra income.  I want to change this!

Moving Forward: We will continue to make jewelry and I hope to develop higher quality items that will produce more income for these women!  I did research on producing jewelry with Larimar which is sourced in the DR.  I would also love to help with more on the ground business development with these women.  Starting their own businesses locally and helping them gain the skills to do so!

This sisterhood is like nothing I have experienced!  The women both stateside and in the DR who are involved in Project I See You, the organization I work with, are amazing and have changed me forever.  

Thank you for your support and prayers on this journey!

Kelly