Andean Collection Workshop

  Faire Collection’s exclusive production company is in Ecuador is called Andean Collection. Andean Collection started its own in-house workshops in 2013 for two main reasons: 1. We wanted to create a model workshop for our artisan partners to follow. 2. As volume was increasing, we needed an additional workshop to handle increasing volume. The creation of the Andean Collection Workshop has allowed our staff to better understand the operational and sourcing difficulties that our artisan partners face. We use this workshop to learn best practices and to serve as a hub for operations in Ecuador. The staff of Andean Collection are on salary, receive free lunch, social security & health insurance, flexible work schedules and the freedom to giggle throughout the day.  There's approximately 10 women who work here and the wonderful sound of laughter is the defining component of this fabulous workshop!  Below, a few artisans are happy to share their stories with you:

Artisan Bios

ARTISANS

Maria Paz Maria is one of the most remarkable members of the Andean Collection workshop. A mother of five children, Maria is incredibly determined to support her family. To provide for her children, Maria makes artisan jewelry on weekdays and cleans houses over the weekends. But her duties do not end here. Maria gets up in early hours in the morning to cook full meals for the whole family. She also takes care of her disabled daughter, Paula, who needs almost round-the-clock care.Though Maria’s schedule is incredibly busy, we have never heard her complaining. “When I see my daughter smiling when I bathe her and my sons enjoying their dinner, my heart is filled with joy and all my work is worth it”, says Maria.Working at Faire Collection has helped Maria more than just financially. She always emphasizes that “making jewelry helps me to de-stress and when I concentrate on making a necklace. I can relax because I know my family will have the money we need each month”.
Lourdes Ecuador is the country of miracles where empowering artisans sometimes also means saving lives.Lourdes has been through difficult times. Her children’s father passed away last year, leaving her without any support. But nothing hurt Lourdes’ heart more than her daughter, Maite, falling sick. Maite has a special medical condition and will undergo a life-threatening surgery in the near future. Amanda, Faire’s CEO, is involved in helping ensure that Lourdes and her daughter have what they need to get through this surgery financially. As a single mother employed only part time, Lourdes did not have health insurance and could not afford to pay for her child’s surgery. As Maite felt weaker every day, Lourdes was ready to sell her small, tin-roofed house, the only valuable she had, risking homelessness. When our staff heard about this, Faire Collection stepped in and hired Lourdes so that she can have full insurance benefits and steady income.“My daughter is now being treated in one of the country’s best hospitals”, says Lourdes with an unbeatable smile. “I am so grateful for Faire Collection. My children are the source of so much joy and happiness. Being able to cure my daughter is the most precious gift I have ever got from life.”
Christina Energetic and diligent, Christina, has a natural affinity with artisan jewelry.Christina takes pride in producing exceptional work and is inspired by her mother who passed away when she was a little girl. “My mom was one of the most gifted embroidery makers in our community. Her dream was to see me as a successful artisan. She always said that artisan work is the heart and soul of our Quichua culture”, explains Christina. “I am dedicated to keep her dear memory and our cultural heritage alive by crafting beautiful artisan jewelry.”Faire Collection’s fair wages and other benefits allow Christina to further improve her skills and to support her younger sister who attends college in Quito.The work at Faire also enables Christina to help her family buy a small piece of land and build a comfortable house for her father and grandparents.
Maricela Always cheerful and positive, Maricela makes everyone smile around her. She was one of the first artisans joining the Andean Collection workshop in 2013.A proud mother of 5 children, Maricela has dedicated her whole life to her family. She believes education is the key for a better life. Maricela has always done her best to help her children performing well at school. “I have studied with my children every afternoon for year and it is amazing to see my efforts paying off. Now all my children have very good grades and my son just got admitted to collage”, she says.When asked about her work at the Andean Collection team, Maricela says that “I cannot be happier with my job. The workshop is a very inspiring place to work for and Faire Collection helps me make my dream come true: saving enough money to support all my five children’s college education.”

Social Impact

Coming Soon!

Natural Materials

Açaí

Pronounced ah-sai-ee Açaí seeds come from the Açaí palm, Euterpe oleracea, which is found in the lush rainforests of South America. These trees grow predominantly in swamps and in floodplains, and reach heights of approximately 45 to 90 feet tall. Small dark purple berries grow in dense clusters on the palm, and each contains a single seed about 0.25–0.4 inches in diameter. The fruit is harvested for food, and is most often served as a beverage. It has gained global fame in recent years due to its high antioxidant and energizing properties. In addition, Açaí leaves are used to make various handicrafts, such as hats and baskets, and Açaí wood is often used in construction.

Pambil

Pronounced pam-beel Pambil seeds come from Iriartea corneto, one of the grandest palms of South America. As a canopy tree, it grows about 60 to 105 feet tall, but from the bottom appears much like the “walking tree,” Socratea exorrhiza, because of its stilt roots. The Pambil palm is an essential resource for the Quichua culture of Peru and Ecuador. Its wood is used for constructing houses, lances, bows, and blowpipes, and the leaves are woven into roofs of native huts. The Pambil palm’s fruit, approximately one inch in diameter, contains the seed that is used in the AC’s jewelry.

Tagua

Pronounced tahg-wah The Tagua nut grows from the Ecuadorian Ivory Palm, Phytelephas aequatorialis, or literally, “plant elephant,” and is commonly referred to as “vegetable ivory.” The medium-sized palm, reaching up to 60 feet tall, grows quickly and easily in shady, humid places hidden below larger trees. Tagua grows from regenerative pods, which emerge from the palms’ trunks. The pods are removed from the palm and the seeds are left to dry in the sun. The drying process for tagua, acai and pambil is weather dependent. In the dry season, the process lasts a few days to a week. During the rainy season it can take months for the seeds to dry to the point at which they can be used by the artisans.

Interviews & Testimonials

Maria - “When I see my daughter smiling when I bathe her and my sons enjoying their dinner, my heart is filled with joy and all my work is worth it.” Lourdes - “I am so grateful for Faire Collection. My children are the source of so much joy and happiness. Being able to cure my daughter is the most precious gift I have ever got from life.” Christina - “I am dedicated to keep [my mother's] dear memory and our cultural heritage alive by crafting beautiful artisan jewelry.” Gladis - “I am not only learning more creative skills but the workshop also gives me courage to attend collage and pursue a career in Quito so that I can support my family.” Maricela - “I cannot be happier with my job. The workshop is a very inspiring place to work for and Faire Collection helps me make my dream come true of saving enough money to support all my five children’s college education.” Maricela - “I have studied with my children every afternoon for years and it is amazing to see those efforts paying off. Now all my children have very good grades and my son just got admitted to college.”

Timeline

Coming Soon!