Philanthropy Friday: A Pearl of Fair Trade

Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer. You can view past posts from the series here.

Fair trade pearls offered by Jules and Company.

Fair trade pearls offered by Jules and Company.

Julia Simpson is passionate about fair trade. It all started when her husband was sent to work in the Philippines for three years. While she was there, she would visit the many bizarres in the area. Julia would shop and connect with the vendors selling their wares, everything from tupperware to jewelry.

As time went on, she became friendly with a local co-op that offered beautiful fresh water pearl jewelry. She got to know the artisans who made the jewelry and saw first hand how the co-op worked.

She saw that the artisans received retirement and medical benefits, two items that aren’t even required for fair trade companies.

Talking with Julia, her commitment to the women in the co-op is apparent.

Julia realized that by selling their jewelry back in the United States, she would be helping to keep women home and avoid being exported to work in another country or forced to work in the sex trade. She chose fresh water pearls because she’s always loved pearl jewelry.

You can buy fair trade fresh water jewelry from Jules and Company online or via Julia directly. Her offerings are beautiful and very reasonably priced. She also works with nonprofits who sell the fair trade jewelry to raise money.

Julia is also a full-time farmer who maintains an organic berry farm in Dresden, Maine. I love the fact a purchase of her jewelry supports talented artisans in the Philippines and my own local economy at the same time. Her goal and motivation is to sell enough jewelry to help 10 women get hired by the co-op each year.

Do you enjoy pearl jewelry? Do you look for fair trade products when shopping? 

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  1. What an amazing and thoughtful mission! And I love that she is supporting the economy in 2 different countries!
    Ilene recently posted..This Is 43My Profile

  2. That is a really cool thing to do. And that bracelet is beautiful! I do love pearls!
    Alexa recently posted..Breaking the SilenceMy Profile

  3. How wonderful. I’ll be honest, I don’t think I ever thought about how my pearls got where they were before right this minute. What a wonderful company and a great way to bring awareness about this issue. –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..Pinterest Nightmare #117: The Babykeeper BasicMy Profile

  4. I buy almost all my jewelery from Artisans. There’s just something about homemade jewelery that makes it better.
    ❤ Julie Maloney ❤ (@Momspective) recently posted..Don’t Let Meme DownMy Profile

  5. What a wonderful thing she is doing and a great way to bring awareness to the issue. I had never really thought about it before…thank you for bringing it to our attention!
    Michelle recently posted..The Time We Ate Toxic FruitMy Profile

    • I pay a lot more attention to where the products I buy come from. Buying fair trade is a great way to support artisans around the world and the small businesses that sell their products.

  6. I don’t buy pearls generally but I am fascinated by the work that goes into finding them. I have read whole books on it. I do look for fair trade jewelry generally.
    Tamara recently posted..The Finer Things.My Profile

    • Fair trade jewelry is gorgeous. I don’t know a ton about what goes into finding the pearls, but it pretty fascinating. There are a couple of neat looking necklaces I have my eye on. :)

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