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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    • says

      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.

    • says

      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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