Hello Friends,

Here at Vi Bella we are looking back on all the beauty of 2017 with such gratitude. This has been a year unlike any we have experienced to this point.  2017 was a year of expansion, growth, and new beginnings.

Thank you to all our friends, customers, and partners for the countless ways you have supported Vi Bella not only in 2017, but from the beginning. I’d like to share just a few ways your support has made the world a more beautiful place.

We have so many reasons to celebrate and here are just a few ways Vi Bella grew this past year:

We celebrated our six year anniversary of Vi Bella in Haiti by having a party with the Simonette and One Vision Vi Bella groups at a beach resort. We took the day to just have fun, relax, celebrate, and recognize the Vi Bella artisans for their fine work.

 

 

We also celebrated the seven year anniversary of Three Cords, complete with a special, surprise visit from the founder of Three Cords!

 

In addition, we experienced expansion with a larger team of artisans and leaders, and learning new skills! This year our partnership with Three Cords and the Mission of Hope resulted in Vi Bella taking on full ownership and responsibility for Three Cords as a business, nearly doubling the number of full-time artisans we employ and expanding our product line. We are grateful to our friends at the Mission of Hope for all their support over the past year, and cherish all the new relationships and opportunities that have resulted from this experience.

 

A special thanks to the Mission of Hope team that helped surprise the Three Cords artisans by cleaning up and painting the Three Cords buildings and by setting up a lovely new eating area for the Three Cords artisans.  The space is just beautiful!

We also set up a new Haitian subsidiary company in Haiti, Vi Bella Haiti S. A. This was a long and complicated process, and we thank our Haitian friends whose expertise in doing business in Haiti and knowledge and understanding of the different cultures we work within continues to be invaluable. We have placed gifted, bright, and dedicated Haitian leaders in key leadership roles in Vi Bella, Haiti, and are eager to walk into a new year of empowering more employees to walk into leadership roles.

 

This year we also committed to finding more components for our products that can be locally sourced in Haiti. This has made our product line more unique, and has allowed us to employ more people who need jobs.   We have several partner artisans and artisan groups, and are committed to empower and link arms with many more fine Haitian and Mexican artisans through these types of partnerships in 2018.

 

All our artisans learned new skills, and continue to amaze us with their fine work. The Three Cords artisans made some beautiful new ornaments that were a big hit with wholesale partners, ambassadors, and our customers. We will be working on developing an exciting new product line in January complete with new purse and bag options, and even a couple of dresses made right at Three Cords to wear with all your Vi Bella and Three Cords accessories!

2017 also included new opportunities to connect others to our mission. We have a new store in Haiti that showcases and sells Vi Bella and Three Cords products to visitors to Haiti. Thank you to friends who helped design, build, and paint the store!

We now offer an Artisan Experience Day in Haiti that allows mission team members the opportunity to spend a few hours with Three Cords artisans. This is a powerful experience as visitors can interact with Three Cords artisans one on one and get to know them as they make a keepsake item together.

Back at home in Iowa we have also had many volunteers help in our home office in various ways over the past year, and we could not be more grateful for the many ways they have blessed us.

In 2017 we also experienced exciting growth in our Ambassador Team, gaining many outstanding team members from all over the USA.  We were able to hit a major benchmark  that we had for 2017 and hope to triple our number of ambassadors by the end of 2018. Thank you Ambassador Team! You are amazing, and you are making a difference!

 

 

We have also had exciting new connections with wholesale partners that have been a blessing to us in 2017.  Thank you to those who have supported us!  You have not only helped our artisans, but have encouraged our entire team.  We are eager to see these relationships continue into 2018 and to forge even more meaningful partnerships that sustain and drive employment opportunity.

In addition to our business expansions, Vi Bella Serves, our sister non-profit has provided school sponsorship for over 60 children in Haiti.  Vi Bella Serves was also able to raise funds from generous donors to help Marie Rose with medical expenses associated with pregnancy complications, and aid for Marie Yolaine who needs help completing the home she has been building for herself and her daughter.

Thank you for being part of the beautiful story.

As we look forward to 2018, many very exciting developments are in the works for Vi Bella for the next year. We are eager to share them with you. Get ready for a beautiful year!!!

Let’s continue to walk together and strive to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly in 2018.

Blessings to you in 2018,
Julie Hulstein
Founder and CEO
Vi Bella Jewelry