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Our goal is to produce 500 unique, individually crafted African handbags and accessories by December 31, 2014.
Our goal is to produce 500 unique, individually crafted African handbags and accessories by December 31, 2014.
146 backers pledged $10,886 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$10,886

146

Profits generated by the 500 will:

  • Build the first artisan cooperative in the village of Aru, DRC;
  • Engage a post-conflict community in the global market;
  • Provide an income to ten local families.

This is only the beginning . . . 

LET'S TALK NUMBERS

60% PRODUCT – We calculated the exact cost of producing 500 items which include sourcing fabric at local markets, paying a fair wage to our artisans, and importing our final shipment.

16% COOPERATIVE IN CONGO – By building an artisan’s cooperative, you give these women an incredible opportunity. A cooperative, by definition, is a group of individuals who voluntarily join together for shared economic, social, and cultural benefits. Your pledge will establish our cooperative status in the DRC.

14% OPERATION – We need to cover general operating expenses, including marketing and website development to maximize our success.

10% VENUE – We are registered for many holiday bazaars, most with a global theme. Your pledge will go towards venue fees and displays needed to sell our products.

RESULT – Profits derived by the 500 products will build our cooperative, allow us to launch our online shop, and design an attractive, innovative wholesale product line.

Photo by One Thousand Design
Photo by One Thousand Design
Photo by One Thousand Design
Photo by One Thousand Design

Experience is our foundation. Since November 2012, we have successfully sold 268 handbags at holiday venues in Lincoln, Nebraska and Denver, Colorado. Customer interest inspired our return to the DRC in April 2014 where we met with our friends to discuss the creation of a cooperative. 

The past two years have indeed been an adventure! 

Here’s what we learned. First, we started by producing several handbag styles to determine current trends. Second, we shipped with several different international shipping companies to find the best price. Third, we participated at a variety of venues to find our niche.

JOIN US!! The next shipment could be your kickback!
JOIN US!! The next shipment could be your kickback!

Risks and challenges

We desire to grow far beyond our Kickstarter project and know there will be more challenges to come. The DRC is defined by high levels of illiteracy, poor sanitation, disease, and intermittent civil conflict. For these reasons, most businesses keep their distance. We anticipate the initial difficultly of aligning our supply and demand chain, but are confident in establishing a strong foundation.

In fact, we are certain that the cooperative's positive social and economic impact will lead to creating more artisan cooperatives throughout the region.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Every dollar counts! Your $10 pledge earns you a social media thank you from our cooperative.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Your $25 pledge earns you an awesome thank you postcard from our cooperative!

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    23 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Start 2015 off right! Your $50 pledge earns you an inspiring calendar with each month featuring one of our artisans in the Congo.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Your $100 pledge earns you a unique, individually crafted African handbag and thank you postcard from our cooperative.

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    37 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Coffee table reading at its best! Your $250 pledge earns you a printed photo book of our cooperative. It will include beautiful images of the Congo, personal narratives of our artisans, and more.

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    Pledge $251 or more About $251

    BUSINESS OPTION: The $250 pledge earns your business recognition on our website. We look forward to designing the 'Our Partners' page acknowledging your contribution.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Get to know our artisans! Your $500 pledge earns you a personally recorded thank you video from one of our artisans. You will also receive a unique, individually crafted African handbag.

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    Pledge $501 or more About $501

    BUSINESS OPTION: The $500 pledge earns your business recognition on our website. Your business will also receive an elegant plaque engraved with an inspirational Ubuntu phrase, "I Am Who I Am Because Of Who We All Are".

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    ONE OF EVERYTHING! Your $1,000 pledge earns you a thank you postcard; 2015 calendar; unique, individually crafted African handbag; personally recorded thank you video; and printed photo book of our cooperative.

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    Pledge $1,001 or more About $1,001

    BUSINESS OPTION: The $1,000 pledge earns your business recognition on our website, engraved plaque, and printed photo book of our cooperative.

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    Pledge $6,000 or more About $6,000

    We are offering a limited 7 person, all-inclusive trip to meet our cooperative. The artisans are thrilled to earn a living through their craft, but their desire to connect with YOU is our ultimate purpose. If you are interested in this option, kindly contact us for details prior to making the pledge.

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Funding period

- (30 days)