Grandparents of The Joobles

While small family businesses are increasingly rare in apparel making and almost unheard of in toy production, this one, run by Javier and Elsa stands apart. Their business grows its own organic cotton, runs its own small-batch sewing factory in Lima, and serves as a central hub for dozens of tiny knitting cooperatives who would never get their products to market without their assistance, expertise, and passion for helping others.

 

Javier-Elsa

Javier & Elsa in the countryside near their beloved hometown of Cajamarca, Peru.

 

These tiny knitting cooperatives are the birth places for The Joobles – our organic stuffed animals and baby accessories. We like to refer to Javier and Elsa as Los Abuelos de Los Joobles – The Grandparents of The Joobles.

 

Javier-Huggy

Javier with his favorite Jooble – Huggy the Bear

Owing to the harsh winter climate in the highlands, Peru has an abundance of incredibly skilled (and very patient! – see videos below) sweater knitters.  But too often these skills don’t translate into sustainable incomes. Javier and Elsa are changing that for dozens of such knitters. Elsa scouts for and hires the artisans, trains them in areas like logistics, inventory management, and quality control, and coordinates production and exportation to Fair Indigo.

 

Artisans like Irma and Gabriel proudly knit our Huggy the Bear collection. Prior to being hired by Elsa, the couple lived in a shantytown outside of Lima where they had come from the countryside ten years earlier in search of a better life.

Irma-Rob-Gabriel

Huggy the Bear artisans Irma and Gabriel, with our co-founder Rob (center)

 

The better life didn’t come easily, but since being hired by Elsa, they have upgraded their home two times and now live in a brick house in a neighborhood where both of their children can attend public school – something Irma said was her ultimate dream. She was never able to attend.

 

The Joobles are finished, inspected, packed, and shipped from Elsa and Javier’s factory in Lima. Here is “smile maker” Maria with her favorite Jooble – Jiffy the Giraffe.

Maria

 

It’s actually breathtaking to think about. In this race-to-the-bottom world, every stitch of every Jooble is made with nothing but hard-working hands arranging and moving needles over yarns. You’ll appreciate that heirloom quality the moment you hold a Jooble in your own hands. And hopefully you’ll smile back knowing it’s provided hope and a better life to another human being too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s