Vi Bella jewelry began to take shape when one woman saw injustice, joblessness and extreme poverty and decided to take a stand – not by giving a handout, but by creating jobs that gave dignity and purpose. Every step along the way in the last four years as Vi Bella has grown, an invitation has been offered for others to join the journey.
There are many ways to battle extreme poverty and injustice. We believe that one of the most powerful is job creation. Dignity, pride, and learning skills that create income provide families with the ability to feed their children, have pride in their work, use creativity, and find community. The life-changing work our artisans are given transforms individuals, families, and whole communities.
This Christmas season you have many choices in how you spend your resources to purchase gifts that demonstrate the love and friendship you have with others.
Here are the top ten facts you may not know about our company. Each is provides a bit of the story behind each beautiful handmade piece.
- Empowerment of artisans through employment is the sole reason we exist. Every sale creates independence and any growth means we can hire more employees and have a greater impact in the communities we serve. All of our artisan’s children in Haiti are provided with school sponsorship for the opportunity to go to school. In Mexico we provide after-school programs and bible studies to bolster community.
2. The Vi Bella staff prays every day. We pray for our artisans, customers, ambassadors, and partners, and each other every morning at 9 a.m. We believe that every person who has been brought into the path of Vi Bella is chosen, gifted, beautiful, and part of the purposes God has for this company.
3. Vi Bella raises money for others. When individuals or groups sign up to do a fundraiser selling our products, we give back 30% of all sales to fund everything from mission trips to medical equipment in Haiti to family adoptions. You can raise money for a cause near to your heart here.
The playground above was built through a fundraiser by ten-year-old Lydia Lee who sold jewelry to raise funding so “every child could have a place to play.”
Medical equipment in Haiti was purchased through a Vi Bella Fundraiser hosted by Laura Boggess
4. We support volunteerism! Community members donate their time to Vi Bella’s mission: from shipping to design to packaging, we invite others to help us bring products to you, keeping costs low and the focus on the fair daily wage of our artisans.
5. Our Founder and CEO does not take a paycheck. Julie Hulstein and her family believe in the incredible power of employment, empowerment, and teamwork. The focus of the company is kept on those at the heart of our mission: our artisans. Our true reward is in the smiles created.
6. We carry beautiful products with affordable price points. This is intentional. We want the Vi Bella story to touch as many lives as possible. We keep our profit margins very small to pay our artisans a fair, daily wage and create safe, encouraging work environments for them.
7. We recycle: cleaning up the landscape and the environment. Plastic bottle beads, paper beads, recycled metal art, recycled blue jeans, and locally sourced seeds are just some of the materials that find new life.
8. We empower artisans in our very own community. Vi Bella handles design, packaging, marketing, and customer service with a small staff in an office in Sioux Center, Iowa. In addition to employing artisans in Haiti and Mexico, we offer a job and support to local women in need of a fresh start. Through Vi Bella their dreams can become a reality. What joy to serve together in our own back yard, making our own community stronger.
9. We reach out and partner with other artisan groups, including a few of their products in our catalogs and online, to help support their artisans. We believe we are better together and can impact poverty on a global level, one job at a time.
10. One thing we want you to know this Christmas season: We are not running huge markdowns on our products. Our handmade jewelry and accessories are already priced affordably. Instead of huge discounts, we are giving back 30% of many sales through fundraising partners and link arms with others to provide a ripple effect of economic empowerment. Currently, we are offering 10% off with a matching percentage given directly to the Dressember Foundation, supporting advocacy and leading rescue efforts and advocacy for women caught in slavery and sex-trafficking.
We believe that by giving in these ways we receive the gift of community. And you receive products that carry a story of redemption and beauty.
When you purchase Vi Bella you join us on the front lines: fighting poverty one beautiful purchase at a time.