Thanks to you, in 2017 we provided 999 days of work for women, adding 27 new partner artisans (bringing the total of women artisans we have worked with to 284), and your 2016 contributions provided 7,440 days of education to indigenous Mayan girls through the Catrinka Girls Project. Your 2017 contributions will continue this work for another year, and the small woman-run NGO that administers the Project will conduct an assessment in the Spring to better understand the Project's impact and how it can improve. Thank you.
On this high note, I write also a note of farewell. After five years of building a social enterprise from scratch, with the highs of glorious textiles and lives changed, and the lows on those days when retail is just a challenging place to be, it is time to focus on new challenges. The Catrinka Girls Project will be folded into the larger umbrella of Abriendo Oportunidades, taking with it the impact of the financial literacy innovations we piloted and proved out. Our partner artisans have always worked for other groups as well, and I will continue finding them work by brokering artisan partnerships for boutiques and other brands.
Inventory on Catrinka.com will be available through midnight EST on December 31st at an additional 25% discount on already low prices, using code FAREWELL. After that our virtual doors will close.
I am proud that in a world where girls are threatened by early marriage, childbirth, sexual assault (often by a relative in their own homes) and low self-esteem, the Catrinka Girls Project has helped 595 girls acquire the skills they need to take control of their lives, and to build the community they need to support them as they pursue their dreams.
I am eternally grateful for the glorious textile creations and life lessons from our 284 partner artisans across Mexico, India, and 14 other countries.
I have been inspired by the new generation of brands, designers, and artisan support groups who are committed to ethical fashion and elevating artisan craft.
And I have been humbled by the people who have stood up for Catrinka, often when I didn't even know I needed them, and kept me believing in what I do.
Catrinka and our community have been a personal salve for me in the last two years of turmoil and misogyny in American life. I only wish I could have done more.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for believing in the women and girls of Catrinka.
With love and gratitude,
P.S. For a fun take on Catrinka in numbers, and some greatest hits, click here.