Dignity: a sense of pride in oneself; self-worth
I blog a lot about babies…and little lessons God has taught me along the way to motherhood. But I also blog a lot about my struggle with self-worth and how God has chipped away at my “perfect girl” mentality in recent years. In July, it will have been a year since I attended the She Speaks conference in North Carolina. Though meant to be a conference to develop writing and speaking skills, She Speaks completely changed my life altogether. As usual, my climb up that mountain had a completely different purpose than what I thought it did when I bought my ticket. God wrecked me and in the middle of that wrecking, brought me to a place where I was smack dab in the middle of some of the most precious people in my life today. And one of those people, happens to not be one person at all, but a company called Karama.
I will never forget meeting two precious souls- Taylor and Raychel-the day I walked into the conference. I was drawn to their booth by the beautiful gold jewelry and leather handbags and left with not only a new necklace, but hugs and prayers and new friends. Not only that, I left with the confidence boost I needed to walk into the banquet room full of women and not feel completely invisible. Maybe they’re good salespeople. Maybe they just knew what I needed that day. But as I have developed a relationship with Karama Collection, I have to think that whether or not they sold the first product, they were there first in foremost to minister to the broken women in their midst and that is why I am so passionate-and delighted-to share their company with all of you.
Now don’t get the wrong impression-I’m not a fashion blogger and have no desire to be. I am so awkward doing those selfie videos and right now, if I have on makeup period, it’s a good day. This post isn’t designed for me to make a percentage off what you go and buy from their site or a local retailer. It’s to showcase who they are, why I love them so much, and hopefully inspire you to make a difference by supporting brands that seek to do good in all that they do.
Karama means “dignity” in Arabic. The company’s overall mission is to alleviate poverty by restoring dignity through creative, purposeful work for artisans, beginning in Africa. Their vision is to live in a world where poverty is overcome through dignified work so families and communities can thrive. One of my favorite things about all of their collections is the constant thread of redemption. For instance, the beads on my lanyard at She Speaks were made from Haitian clay. Once a reminder of poverty and hunger for the Haitian people, the clay is now being used as the very substance to end both poverty and hunger once and for all.
Karama recently sent me some beautiful products to review and I can’t decide what I love the most. I received the Floating Necklace, leather wristlet, and the Natural Towel. Though my photos aren’t pristine, I want you to know that these products are gorgeous and extremely well-made. They aren’t “pity products” but ones crafted from talent, passion and careful skill. Be sure to follow my Instagram to see each product individually in the coming days and how I’m actually using them in every day life (again, not a fashion blogger-just a mama crazy about Karama!)
The wristlet and the towel were both created by artisans in Ethiopia and the necklace was created in Kenya. The photos above show the exact places and artisans that worked on my products and it blesses my heart to know that though I am thousands of miles away, I was able to help them-even just a little-by sharing their story and purchasing products from their collections! Here’s a testimony of an artisan from a quote from Karama’s website about Yeshi… An artisan partner working in the textile industry (linens aka the towel) “With her current income, she is able to provide for her family, save for her children’s education, and plan for her own future.”
Karama prides itself on creating a “swirl of good”. The biggest ministry that Karama supports is Young Life Africa. If you are around my age, or younger you may have heard of Young Life in college or on a college campus-that’s where I first heard of it anyway. Young Life is a nonprofit focused on introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith. Though there are Young Life groups all over the United States, Young Life Africa mentors and disciples youth in some of the same communities as Karama partners, active in over 26 countries throughout Africa, changing the face of poverty one relationship at a time.
And y’all, their impact has been enormous. Karama began in 2006 with a single artisan partner in Ethiopia and has since expanded to working with artisans in 6 countries, affecting over 2,400 artisans and their families in this time period. Each purchase provides layers of transformation, yielding individual, community, economic and eternal impact. Karama mainly does their work in East Africa, but has expanded into Haiti as well. Karama strives to create a lasting impact for the artisans they support and the Young Life Africa kids. Their Swirl of Good encompasses so many lives and stories that the Lord has weaved together to create personal, social, economic, and eternal impact!
I know the pretty Instagram bloggers are tempting, but I hope you will consider hopping over to Karama Collection’s website the next time you have a gift to purchase or splurge on yourself. Instead of feeling guilty about your purchase, you can be rest assured that your purchase is not only giving an artisan a chance to succeed, but is actively helping spread the gospel throughout Africa and the entire world. Another fun fact: Poppie’s Boutique, that I also love love love and support, carries Karama in store and online! So, feel free to use my personal discount code (REPBETH10) to receive 10% off your online purchase.
I can’t thank God enough for the impact these precious people have made on me, and I hope you will join me in being a part of Karama’s “Swirl of Good” by supporting these hardworking men and women!
(A special thank you to Karama for allowing me to collaborate with them on this post. Please note photos and some of the wording are the property of Karama Collection. This post may contain affiliate links)