The wonderful company I am going to tell you about today is called Made by Survivors. I did a case study about this venture in college and I think it was the first time I really understood the implications of social entrepreneurship, the complexity of helping, and the entrepreneurial strategy behind it all. So I kind of consider this company the spark that inspired me to create this whole blog and I hope this post does it justice.
Made by Survivors sells beautiful jewelry that is made by women who have been rescued from human trafficking in Nepal, India, Thailand, and Cambodia. The US Department of State defines human trafficking as “activities involved when someone obtains or holds a person in compelled service”. Those who suffer from human trafficking can be subject to: forced labor, sex trafficking, bonded labor, debt bondage, involuntary domestic servitude, forced child labor, and child soldiers.
In the beginning stages of this company, the founders realized that rescuing these women simply wasn’t enough. This is because often times the rescued women had nowhere to go or means of an income after their rescue and eventually would be forced back into what becomes the vicious circle of human trafficking. Therefore, Made by Survivors came up with a business strategy to empower the women that had been rescued to insure that they do not end up back on the trafficking circuit. They offer the women classes in jewelry design and entrepreneurship in order for these women to become financially educated and stable. The women use these skills to create all the jewelry that is sold.
This is a Made by Survivors bracelet I got about four years ago and I wouldn’t be surprised if it lasted many more years. Unfortunately, this bracelet is no longer offered, but I have picked out a few necklaces to show you that I have had my eye on.
The first one is a sort of toned down statement necklace, not quite as big of a statement as perhaps a big, chunky J.Crew piece, but the bright colors do make it stand out. I like to think of it as a picture of a setting sun on top of a mountain. Does anyone else see that too? This next necklace (pictured on Sarah Hyland from Modern Family!!!!!!!! and on the far right) is more simple, versatile, and conveniently more expensive. It costs $90 and the previous one is about half that cost. They also have a variety of jewelry for men/unisex like the one pictured below, which costs $80.
I will leave you with the words of the co-founder/president of Made by Survivor, Sarah Symons: “To be honest, my first instinct was to avoid the pain by turning away from the problem. “What can I do about it?,” I thought. Like many people, I was paralyzed by the enormity of the problem.” And look at all that she has accomplished! I feel like a lot of people will be able to relate to these words. The moral of this story is that even though some problems seem intimidatingly too big to handle, you can still find ways to help. All of the jewelry can be bought at: http://www.madebysurvivors.com.