Meet Team Peru, our oldest and most inspirational trade partner. Our history with Team Peru goes back to 2009, before Fair Anita was founded, when our founder Joy moved to Peru to learn about domestic violence in a country with one of the highest rates in the world. While building a women’s shelter in the small town of Chimbote, Joy had the opportunity to work with local women and ask them what they thought was the most important resource for women experience domestic violence. Almost unanimously, these women expressed that jobs are the single most important resource for women experiencing domestic violence, because sustainable income allows women to leave an abusive partner. Joy founded Fair Anita from the lessons she learned in Chimbote, and to this day our work remains grounded in supporting women’s resilience through responsive business relationships.
Team Peru is comprised of two cooperatives, one in the small town of Chimbote and one outside the capital city, Lima. Our partners in Chimbote specialize in intricate beaded jewelry and produce our best selling friendship bracelets. Our partners in Lima specialize in sterling silver jewelry, a difficult field for women artisans to enter as silver work is traditionally a male domain. Team Peru offers support services for women experiencing domestic violence and sustainable jobs that would not otherwise be available to women.
We support Team Peru by helping them employ more women, earn higher wages and reach new customers.
The Pyramid Sterling Studs (and their buddies Diamante and Carmen!) are handmade by artisans in a little workshop on the outskirts of Lima. These artisans make every piece of jewelry by hand, including the tiny earring backs (you can tell they’re handmade by comparing one back to the other, or looking for the little .925 stamp on each piece). This cooperative is special because it is managed by women but includes both male and female artisans in the making of the jewelry, challenging traditional labor roles and creating an innovative work environment. These earrings were made out of primarily recycled sterling metal in a great, airy workshop outside the city. Watching these artisans create the jewelry really is a treat; it's amazing how they can create tiny pieces individually with such consistency.
Maritza lives in Chimbote, Peru, one of the largest poorest cities in the world, about 8 hours north of Lima on the coast. She lives in a "quinta," or a shared housing space, with about 12 other families. This quinta was built by Friends of Chimbote, a nonprofit organization that does a lot of mission work in Chimbote. Maritza has been disabled since she was a small girl, and it is through Friends of Chimbote that she was able to receive an electric wheelchair, a prized possession in the neighborhood that was previously unheard of. This allows her to get around, as she otherwise lives on her own. Maritza is a self-taught beader with impressive talent. She's determined to create jobs for other women with disabilities in her quinta, so she started teaching them how to create jewelry. Now, there are 16 women who work together to create beautiful designs for you to enjoy. They're very proud to be selling their work in the United States!