Peru Trip Day 5: How Joobles Help Fund Micro Businesses

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.

Fun is Good for You!

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently published a summary of research into the benefit of play in the development of a child, and, importantly, what type of play is most beneficial.

The abbreviated version is that young children are increasingly spending much too much time playing with electronic toys that involve passive participation (i.e. pushing a button and watching). In addition, a growing number of stuffed toys revolve around licensed media characters where most of the personality and disposition of the character has been pre-defined by the media creator.

Imagination is not just nice, it’s quite literally essential for the development of a child’s intellectual and social development.

Examples of toys that support this kind of development are building blocks, simple household items like wooden utensils and containers, and unbranded animals or characters.

While academic research is a great validator, we knew instinctively that our Joobles collection of organic stuffed animals made by fair trade cooperatives in Peru, was a healthy thing for mind and spirit, young and old, and in this case, unlike too often,  consumer and producer.  Doctor’s orders: have fun!