Threads Worldwide creates life-changing work for women around the world through the fair trade of artisan jewelry (did we mention every piece is gorgeous?). This November, we are teaming up for a special giveaway across our social channels. We sat down with two of the founders Kara and Angela to hear about their journey, inspiration, and Thanksgiving traditions!
Sudara: What was the inspiration behind founding Threads?
Kara: We were inspired to start Threads after seeing firsthand the living conditions of families living in extreme poverty. We empower and connect women globally because we know it is the most efficient way to strengthen families and create thriving communities.
Angela: Women invest up to 90% of their income back into their families and communities, meaning that investing in women is the most efficient way to provide opportunities for future generations. We wanted to be a part of that change.
Sudara: Have there been any catalyst events that have helped shape the company?
Kara: Our travels have been our catalyst events. When we see the tangible difference our work makes with our Artisan Partners, our team here in the States is inspired to do more faster. When we see how our Fair Trade Partners are benefiting from earning an independent income, we know it is imperative that we continue growing our movement.
Sudara: What are your long-term goals for the company?
Angela: We want to make direct sales cool! Everyone seems to have an opinion on the direct sales model and ours is that it’s the best way to share our Artisan Partners’ stories while hanging out with people we love. Who doesn’t love to get together with friends? Who doesn’t love to try on new things, to shop, and to be inspired while doing it?
Women are a force to be reckoned with. We move markets. If Threads can educate the women we are privileged to get in front of, to contribute some knowledge that shifts women’s buying partners, then we know we are altering future generations. We may even be shifting the arc of humanity. Sound bold? We are!
Also, our long-term goal is to have tens of thousands of Fair Trade Partners on this mission with us.
Sudara: What challenges have you faced along the way?
Angela: We took for granted that with our awesome mission, inclusive sales model, and beautiful jewelry, people would flock to us to join as a Fair Trade Partner. It hasn’t been that easy, so we’ve had to work harder than we expected to get the word out and grow our tribe. We’re definitely turning the corner, but still have a lot of growth ahead of us!
Sudara: What is your favorite piece of jewelry in your line and why?
Angela: I love the Solo Bracelet because it is handmade by the artisans my husband and I met on our pre-wedding honeymoon. It is so delicate and goes with everything.
Kara: My favorite is the Ora Necklace, made by our Artisan Partners in Uganda. It gives a pop of color to every outfit, and I get compliments every time I wear it—which gives me the opportunity to tell people about the difference we can make when we buy fair trade!
Sudara: What advice would you give to shoppers who are looking to help your cause?
Angela: When you’re shopping and you see a very low price, ask yourself who is being paid—and who is not. If a shirt costs $5, there’s no way the company is paying the producers a fair wage. Have that simple thought at the forefront of all the other considerations you have when deciding what to buy.
Kara: Instead of looking at money spent when purchasing our products, think about your money as an investment in the women that you are supporting globally.
We all vote with our dollars and your purchase makes a difference.
Sudara: What are your favorite Thanksgiving or Holiday traditions?
Angela: Every year we have a Friendsgiving gathering our friends for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. I rarely cook, but on this day I contribute a pretzel, cream cheese, and jello “salad.” (My parents are from Nebraska and they actually do consider it to be a salad despite the 2 cups of sugar and Kool-Whip topping.) My favorite memories are making this the day of Friendsgiving waiting for everyone to bring over the real food!
Kara: I am from an enormous family. My mom is one of 10 children so our Christmas gatherings are crazy. When we were young, my aunt who lived in Mexico at the time would bring a pinata home. All of my cousins (now, picture that, ten siblings and all of their children) would take turns swinging the bat to do everything we could to make that pinata rain candy. I have such vivid memories of the pinata first breaking open and swarms of little kids tackling one another to get what was theirs.
Sudara: What are your go-to things to pack with you when traveling for the holidays?
Angela: Floss! I can’t stand not flossing at night. Also, dry shampoo and my baby.
Kara: All of my Threads jewelry so I can show the fam all of our new treasures in person!
Sudara: What’s your favorite holiday memory?
Angela: As kids, my brother and I traded off putting the star on top of the tree every year. And every year we tried to remember who did it last year and debated who would get to do it that year!
Kara: One of my favorite holiday memories happened in 2000 when Angela and I first moved to Colorado the year after graduating college. It was our first Thanksgiving on our own and we were determined to make a traditional feast. Being the procrastinators we were, we did our shopping the morning of Thanksgiving. It wouldn’t have been a problem had we not bought ourselves a frozen turkey. We spent most of the day doing everything we could to defrost the bird (hot water, microwave, etc). Needless to say, it didn’t turn out great.
Thank you, Kara and Angela, for spending time with us and for empowering women across the globe. And look out for our giveaway this week with the Threads Worldwide team!