On our final workday in Peru, we visited one of the cooperatives that makes our Joobles line of organic characters and accessories.
Carmela started her business five years ago with a single knitting machine. Her home-based business is located in the San Juan de Miraflores area near Lima, one of the many hillside shanty towns where settlers from the countryside have landed in search of a “better life” in Lima.
Today she has 6 machines and has brought 8 workers into the cooperative. An inspiration to all of us, Carmela said her success really hinges on her ability to a) invest in new machines to expand the capacity of knitting, and b) to get bigger orders! Because sales of Joobles have exceeded our expectations (what other $25 baby gift could you ever want?), we hope Carmela can soon reach her goal of doubling her knitting machines and workers.
Fair Indigo works with a company here in Peru that coordinates production with dozens of businesses like Carmela’s, providing each with vital pieces of the business pie that are often out of reach for traditional craft-based cooperatives: legal/accounting support, logistics planning, and most importantly a link to consumers outside of Peru.
This company also completes a final inspection on all the pieces that are knit in the cooperatives.
It was an honor to meet Carmela and her family and share a snack with them in their home.
If you know anyone in the market for a baby gift (ahem, we’ve noticed not only babies like the Joobles), please send them our way! Carmela and dozens more like her will appreciate it more than you would ever guess.
And what motivates Carmela to bigger and better things? “Es muy sencillo” it’s very simple she says. She and her husband have two teenage sons and want to make sure they stay in school and on the right path for a better life. Carmela can think of no better way than to lead by example.