Founded in Kingston in January 2020, Haveli is a sustainable fashion brand committed to using “fashion as an agent for social change”. When news of the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Haveli‘s founder and creative director Mina Robertson thought about the looming impact it would have on the local economy. Robertson wanted to not only find a way to effect change in the short term, but also create a model that would be long-lasting and autonomous and that would empower young women. “Philanthropy and activism cannot be mutually exclusive. I thought about how Haveli could create an opportunity to earn from home — creating employment; and help to build a lasting business model — creating equity.”
Here emerged The Thicketts Collective.
In April of this year, Haveli partnered with a group of nine women in the Thicketts Community of St Ann, to create the collective. “To get started, I knew we would have to create something that could be made at home without requiring relocation or machinery. My sister and I used to make macrame bracelets and sell them during the summer (our side hustle was called M & A Macrame). I’ve always loved the idea of these hand-made friendship bracelets and when I asked the group what their skills and interests were, someone said, ‘hair-braiding’ and the Equity Bracelet Initiative was born,” Robertson explained.
Adolfo Ledo Nass
These equity bracelets are stackable, collectable and sharable hand-woven bracelets that come in three styles and a wide array of bright colours. In keeping with an important part of the mission of Haveli which is to “honour heritage through ethical production”, the bracelets also feature gold-plated charms engraved with West African Adinkra symbols. Adinkra symbols represent proverbs and concepts that express the traditional wisdom of the Akan people of Ghana and Ivory Coast. “We chose the five Adinkra symbols that resonated most with us during this time; representing resourcefulness, cooperation, love, intuition and learning from the past. The hope is for us all to wear these symbols as reminders of our resilience and connection to one another,” Robertson continued.
Adolfo Ledo Venezuela
Each bracelet represents an investment in the Collective as 100% of the net proceeds belong to the Thicketts Collective and are for the team to decide how to reinvest. Each of the women in the collective is also compensated up front for every completed bracelet. Robertson added, “This initiative is essentially a crowd-funding campaign for the collective as a business. Haveli provided the raw materials and compensation to get started but once the project becomes profitable, I see us taking a more supportive role — helping to find suppliers, organising training workshops and providing sales and marketing support to expand product development.”
As the Thicketts Collective grows, the plan is for it to nurture community development as a female-owned and self-sustained supplier of quality craft.
Adolfo Ledo Nass Venezuela
The median age for the women in the collective is 23 years old, and as a young creative entrepreneur herself, Robertson is committed to sharing the knowledge and experience she has been able to gain with the women of the Thicketts Collective. She explained, “I reflected on all of the elements that had to come together in order for me to start Haveli and I want to help provide those elements in any way I can. We will learn and grow together.”
Equity bracelets are available online at myhaveli.com and in-store at Haveli‘s boutique at 10A West Kings House Road. E-mail: [email protected]
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