Sunday, September 6, 2015

Catrinka Vidalia Necklace | Semillas Collection

When a blog is about nail polish and occasionally bags, jewelry, and makeup, you don't often get into other outside topics.  So I rarely discuss my educational background since it has very little with what I do on these pages on a daily basis.

In today's collaboration with Catrinka, I feel compelled to share why this post is so important to me.  While I was first getting into this polish gig, I was also going for my Masters in International Policy.  I studied abroad in South Africa for a summer learning about sustainable economic development.   During my program, we learned a lot about the new international focus on utilizing women to shift the developing world out of poverty, discovering that investing in female businesses and entrepreneurs had strikingly higher returns on investments than those of male entrepreneurs.  This isn't a "women are better than men" type of thing, but sadly, in many cases in the developing world (as even in in our countries) women will more likely (90%!) take the money earned and spend it more wisely, investing it in their families as opposed to men who will more likely spend it on alcohol or other frivolous costs.  

While my summary of a serious economic situation plaguing a huge part of our planet is clearly watered down and without nuance (for more information, check out this great read from the International Monetary Fund, "Empowering Women is Smart Economic Sense"), there are many organizations that are looking to help women use their skills to fight poverty by catering to the developed world's awareness of these issues and frankly, fashion sense.  

Enter today's post.

I was sent a necklace from the Semillas Collection from the Catrinka company for review.  In their own words --

Catrinka is an ethical fashion accessories label that invests in women and girls...leveraging the power of women and girls to invest in each other and the future. Catrinka pieces are made by women, who invest twice as much of their income in their families as men.  And with each bag sold, Catrinka provides a week or more of education and mentoring in crucial life skills for adolescent girls on the margin, so that they have the tools to take charge of their own future. Girls who have the ability to postpone marriage and childbirth beyond the age of 12 or 14 can make a better life for themselves, and then invest in the next generation. 

While Catrinka typically sells bags made by women in developing countries, the Vidalia necklace I was provided with was from their Semillas Collection.  Semillas, meaning 'seed' in Spanish, is a collection made by the 14 women of the El Palmeral collective in El Salvador.  The seeds are gathered by the men in the community and then sold to the women who make the products.  One of the women, Ana Maria Santos, says making the necklaces and bracelets of the collection "has taught us to be more confident, to speak for ourselves and to feel valuable, when before we were shy and afraid."  This feeling is demonstrated in the hot pink tassels and string accenting the bracelets and necklaces!


currently on sale, $29

Palm tree seed beads

Hot pink tassel

wearing Different Dimension Ditz 2.0 to complement the hot pink tassels

The necklace's length is adjustable from 20" to 24" (including the 1.5" tassel).  

You can purchase the Vidalia and other items from the Semillas Collection by clicking here.

Impact of this Purchase
This necklace, like all of the Semillas Collection, was made by the 14 women of the El Palmeral collective in El Salvador.  The necklace is named for one of them, Vidalia del Carmen Duran, who has three children, and says of her work: "We are happy to be helping our homes and families and also because we are working in our own communities. We can all be with our kids and take care of our homes, without having to leave and look for work away, in the cities. That fact is something we are especially grateful for, to be able to work within our own community."


This product was provided for my honest, unbiased review.  Please see my PR Disclosure Policy for more information.

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