In 2007 while Kallie Dovel was traveling in Uganda she met a woman creating paper beaded jewelry. When Dovel returned home to the States with a box of this jewelry, her friends and family noted the talent and beauty in the craftsmanship.
While Dovel finished her Cultural Anthropology degree, she began dreaming up the concept of a development organization. A few of her friends jumped on board and Dovel's ideas evolved into 31 Bits — an organization that purchases goods from women in Uganda (much like the woman Dovel met back in 2007 that inspired her idea) and provides an international platform for them.
31 Bits started with 6 women and has grown to 83.
The company provides these woman with a monthly wage comparable to a schoolteacher in Northern Uganda which provides for families, healthcare, housing, food and the ability to save for a future business. The profits of 31 Bits fund financial, vocational, literacy education, holistic care and a strong support system to empower individuals.
The beads are made of recoiled paper and sealed with a non-toxic, water-based varnish. *
This is the sort of company I seek out and LOVE to come across. They are not only selling something beautiful that people can wear or give as a gift, but they are paying a fair wage to those making products, as well as providing more growing and educational opportunities for these women.
Because I fell in love with this mission, I'm partnering with 31 Bits to host a jewelry party. Below are some of the items I'll have on hand (with more options available for special order). If you're interested in attending my party, or would like to purchase something through me but are not interested in the party, shoot me a message! I'd be happy to help.
I'm so glad more companies like this are emerging, thriving, and bringing good to this world. As Sophia Bush says @ 31 Bits:
"Being conscious of what you support, even through such simple actions as buying a bracelet or necklace for a loved one, can literally impact entire communities halfway around the world."
* The beginning portion of this post to the asterisk indication was summarized by Casie Lukes from the 31 Bits Designs Commonly Asked Questions handout for party hosts.