Our story begins, as so many stories do, with travel to a foreign country...for us, it was Guatemala. As a mother-daughter duo, we had been volunteering together locally for years but we stepped it up by joining a team traveling to Central America. After moving around Guatemala a bit we landed in San Martin Chiquito, a small village of indigenous Mayan people, nestled in the highlands near Lake Chicibal.
On our last day in the village, we listened as a small band of Mayan women told their story of the centuries old art of backstrap weaving. Through translators - Mam to Spanish to English - we were shown their weavings and learned of cotton threads, paddles, looms, and the patterns and techniques as learned from their mothers and passed on to their daughters for hundreds of years. In a country still struggling from the effects of a brutal Civil War the quiet, dignified manner of the women we met belied the chronic state of physical, emotional, and social trauma in which they live. We were deeply moved by the mother-daughter connections, their stories and their strength.
Being a mother-daughter duo ourselves, we were struck by the little to no opportunities these women had to share their talents. Starting JOJI has not only allowed us to create a global market for their products, but has allowed us to blend our shared passion for fashion and philanthropy in a way that could truly make an impact in the lives of the women we have grown to call family.
We're grateful to be doing this work and to have the ability to connect you with women artisans from around the world who continue to inspire us with their talent.
We believe in empowering women worldwide and in doing so, providing you with opportunities to not only have high-quality, ethically-made products, but to provide you with a chance to make an impact that lasts.
Thank you for joining us on this journey!
xo amy & kathy