Last week we highlighted the 5th year of Haitian Creations. Haitian Creations is a program through (non-profit) Heartline Ministries, where Haitian women make purses, earrings, accessories and jewelry while at the same time empowering and creating independence for them. Heartline Ministries has been serving the country of Haiti for over 20 years. Women that take part in Heartline Ministries’ beading and sewing program get to choose whether or not they want to Make the items for Haitian Creations. The beautiful items are then bought and sold to people here in America. The program sells these item two ways; through their online store and at purse parties. The purse parties are very beneficial because the host is sent items that are of interest.
We recently caught up with the Purse Party Coordinator, Angela Backstrom to dig deeper into the beginnings of Haitian Creations:
D4H: What is the mission of Haitian Creations?
HC: Our mission for Haitian Creations is to create artisan opportunities and build empowering relationships with the people of Haiti. We want women to learn valuable life-skills and eventually support their families out of the cycle of poverty. Heartline Ministries provides many programs. Some of the women’s programs are: literacy classes, cooking classes, sewing classes, and beading classes.
D4H: How did Haitian Creations come about, and additionally how can people help?
HC: We started (5 years ago) by offering a 6 month sewing class. Some ladies decide to sew for us while others decide to become a dressmaker or pursue other opportunities. A while after the purses started taking off, we offered a 6 week bead making class. The ladies who graduate from that class make unique, beautiful jewelry for Haitian Creations using fabric beads. The best way that people can help is to either donate to the women’s center or to buy our products! The money from the purses and jewelry goes directly back to the individual woman who made that item. So, you get something great and you are helping a woman in Haiti. It is a win-win! One of the big ways that we get the word out and sell items is through our Style61 events. You have some friends over to your house, we send you a box of items and you go shopping!
D4H: Do you have any personal stories that were inspirational to the charity, such as why do they do what they do?
HC: When I was down in Haiti it was great to walk through the women’s center and see that they were running out of room! They are using the space that God provided to teach women valuable skills. There are so many stories of women being able to keep their kids, work at home so they can be by their kids, buy their own home and so on. Not only are the women learning life-skills, they are learning about their Creator.
D4H: What are some of the long term and/or short term goals of the charity?
HC: The current women’s center is running out of room. Heartline has some property so we are hoping to build a new women’s center where we will have the space for more classes and more women! We are currently working on a sewing machine drive so that we have enough sewing machines for a new sewing class that is starting.
Haitian Creations has been very helpful in letting us inside to further explore what they stand for and how important this program is to Haitian women as well as their American buyers. They have many items to buy, and they are affordable to boot. We hope you will help us and support them in their 5th year. If you want more information on their artists and designers, they are listed here.