Okay friends, get ready for some serious feels. I want to start by telling you the story behind Tribe of Lambs, a compassionate jewelry company. Because when you learn what they do and why they do it, it will pull on your heartstrings and make you fall in love with this company, just like I did. So here we go...
Bobbi Paidel was a successful wardrobe stylist in Toronto when she decided to go on the "search for something extraordinary" She went backpacking in Australia and then her friend convinced her to visit India where she ended up staying for 7 months. She was teaching dance in orphanages, volunteering, studying meditation and making things with the local artisans. She saw the beautiful parts of India but also the not so beautiful and felt it was her social responsibility to stay.
There are over 440 million children in India and a large number of them are orphans. The government orphanages are poor, they have a lack of resources, and are like jail for children. Bobbi started a crowdfunding campaign and raised $5000 in one month! The money that was raised bought jackets for children in two orphanages. After the crowdfunding, Bobbi's good friend Phil, who she met in Australia came to India. They started their first project which was to build solar panels because in the winter there are a lot of power outages which means a lot of trouble for the orphanages. Bobbi would bring products that were made by the local artisans back to Canada to help fund the project.
Bobbi was working with different NGO's (non-governmental organizations) and decided that she wanted to put her energy into one organization to make the biggest difference. She decided to work with RAYS, an organization dedicated to caring for children with HIV.
You might be thinking, why children with HIV? India has one of the highest number of HIV-infected people in the world. There are over 170 000 children living in India with HIV. Unfortunately, most people there are uneducated about the virus and the common belief is that HIV can be contracted from touching someone that is infected. Therefore, a person that is HIV positive will find it very hard to get a job, public hospitals won't take care of them, . And for children, their mothers pass away, they are abandoned by their family, they get expelled from school and the government orphanages won't take them.
Tribe of Lambs helps to support RAYS who has two orphanages with over 50 HIV positive children. They provide a safe home for the children and everything they need to have a good quality of life. They all go to private school, have well balanced meals, regular exercise, extracurricular activities, so much love, and so much more!
Using her skills from the fashion industry, Bobbi and Phil design the jewelry which 20 men and 5 women hand make in India. They have two workshops where the workers are paid fair wage, there is no child labour, no gender discrimination and also minimal environmental impacts.
Phil and Bobbi make designs for both men and women. Each piece is named after a child in the orphanage and you can read all of their stories on their website.
I love that it's more than just a piece of jewelry. It represents a little piece of India, hope, and that you've made a positive impact on the lives of the people who make the jewelry and also the children at RAYS. You can definitely feel good about wearing this jewelry.
"BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN COMPASSION AND CONSUMERISM" -BOBBI
I'm so happy that I could share this story and company with you. Tribe of Lambs has left a mark on my heart and I hope they do the same for you. You can find Tribe of Lambs at Outside the Shape, The Clothing Bar, The Makers Keep in Edmonton, and on their website.
Finally, a big thank you to Distilled Beauty Bar and Social House for letting us take photos in their gorgeous space.