About this project
WHAT IS HERFA?
Herfa is an English transliteration of an Arabic word meaning "craft", or "a talent produced with one's hands".
Hello you early adopter you!
Thank you for coming to our Kickstarter page. We have been considering launching a social business for years and when we got inspired with this idea to bring unique, comfy, and high quality apparel to the USA while employing Middle Eastern women, we thought it was perfect.
We produced a batch of high quality "beta" shirts, hats, and hoodies for our expat friends in Amman (and a few Jordanians) and they LOVE them, so we were inspired to officially launch the brand in the USA, the European Union, and Australia here on Kickstarter. Please help us make Herfa Heritage a reality,
- Tara & Colin
P.S. Please sign for our email list HERE to get all the latest updates on this Kickstarter campaign, sales, and promotions. We promise to send out emails very selectively.
OUR HERFA STORY
We (Tara and Colin) got married in 2014 and left Boston a month later and moved to Beirut, Lebanon and in 2015 we moved to Amman, Jordan. We love living in this region and learning first-hand about its history, unique culture, and the peace problems and hopeful solutions. We currently split our time between Boston and Jordan.
We found handmade, traditional embroidery we loved everywhere. But we didn't find any modern embroidered clothes we would wear. So, we decided to start making them!
We are teaming up with two great local partners - the Jordanian apparel company Jobedu and the Bawabet Al-Sharq workshop - to mix the beautiful Middle East embroidery tradition with modern street style.
The Middle East has lots of powerful stories to tell, and we hope to spread those positive stories to our friends and family back in the States. Plus, we want to support important social causes and highlight the excellent craftsmanship here.
One way to help women in the Middle East is to pay a fair wage for their crafts and build a strong company that will give them consistent business. Women are carrying on the long tradition of embroidery in the Arab world and this livelihood gives them the option to work from home while taking care of their households.
YOUR GENEROUS DONATION WILL
- Help us continue fine-tune the R&D of the project to produce the highest quality apparel and embroidered pockets and designs
- Do a full, professional photo shoot of our line
- Create a large enough initial order that makes it cost effective to ship to the USA and to establish a fulfillment system
- Cover start-up costs to establish the company in the USA and do a sales & marketing push
- Tell a great story about Jordan, the Middle East, and embroidered handicrafts
- Invest in R&D for new items with a modern take on embroidery, like dress shirts, polo shirts, five-panel hats, belts and bags
- Procure new designs and different styles of embroidery from other MENA countries and maybe even other areas, like Thailand, that have an embroidery tradition
***The first 100 items ordered through Kickstarter donations will be individually numbered.***
When you support the campaign you will be sent a link to "claim" a Herfa item. For each item, you will pick one Herfa patch design (we currently have five, but more are coming), pick the background patch color (black or white), pick the gender for the shirt cut, and then pick the type of shirt (regular t-shirt, v-neck, long-sleeve, or racerback tank), unisex zip-up hoodie, or snapback hat.
We currently have a "beta" online store HERE that we are using for custom Amman orders. You can peruse it to see which colors and sizes are available for which types of shirts and hoodies, etc. The store also has a sizing chart for the shirts and hoodies.
HOW IS IT MADE?
The shirts and hoodies are produced by the apparel brand Jobedu in their factory in Jordan. Jobedu's apparel is all 100% cotton and of a very high quality that is a little bit stretchy (on par with Alternative Apparel). They also sell Arab pop-culture inspired screen printed designs apparel all over the Middle East and in the USA, in their three super cool Amman shops, and online. Check out their stuff!
Currently, hats are not produced anywhere in Jordan so these hats are made in China and bought in the Amman; they are high quality. Your donation will help us find other hat options.
The handmade embroidered pockets are custom designed by Herfa Heritage, but are inspired by traditional Arab designs. They are handmade by Jordanian women in their homes employed by a women's empowerment cooperative - Bawabet Al-Sharq, a well respected Jordanian workshop with over 25 years of experience with embroidery. NOTE: The women are not featured in our video on purpose; we were asked not to film them as it is considered inappropriate. We hope to find women that may opening to doing an interview with us in the future.
Bawabet Al-Sharq employs 107 women and creates all kinds of traditional, embroidered clothing and home items and sells them all over the Middle East. Their website will be up soon.
After we get the pockets and the Jobedu apparel matched up, we work with an experienced local tailor with expertise in sewing items onto clothing. The threads and the material lining the pockets are strong and stand up to machine washing, but we recommend line drying to preserve the embroidery.
The refugee crisis is dire in this region. Because of the Kickstarter format, we are not donating money to charity, but we do want to promote the incredible work of the NGO Helping Refugees in Jordan where 100% of donations to them benefit those living in extreme poverty. Check them out on their Facebook page.
Pockets are hand embroidered by Jordanian women in their homes. Every single piece of embroidery is handmade and unique; it will feature the design you pick with main colors featured in the photo, but may include additional colors and small design tweaks. This is the Middle Eastern tradition.
Each pocket design is named after an amazing place in Jordan based on its colors and/or design (note: designs are not from those locations).
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR EMAIL LIST FOR UPDATES
Please sign up HERE to get all the latest news on this Kickstarter campaign, sales, and promotions. We promise to send out emails very selectively.
The video was filmed and edited by Andrew Wilber - contact him at Andrew@mousetrapgenius.com. It was all shot in Amman, Jordan.
OUR SOCIAL MEDIA
Risks and challenges
We feel very confident in the quality, production, and timeline of the Herfa Heritage items we are making here in Jordan, as we have already made batches of shirts, hoodies, and hats for friends in Amman - they look and feel amazing.
The biggest potential issues and problems are with the shipping costs of sending the items to the USA and dealing with customs, shipping mistakes, etc. Luckily, Jordan and the USA do have a great free-trade agreement that applies to most apparel, so that is an advantage for us.
A very important aspect of this Kickstarter campaign is that we create a large initial order that makes it cost effective to ship the items to the States. Then we will ship out the rewards separately from the States. The initial order will also help us reduce productions costs in Amman.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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