This necklace comes from Fair Indigo, a company here in Madison co-founded and helmed by Robert Behnke, a good friend and happy hour compadre of mine. Fair Indigo is the kind of place you feel good spending money, because everything they sell has a story behind it of lifting people up all over the world, keeping them at work, making a fair wage, beating the odds. My necklace was actually a gift, but its production nonetheless affected lives. It was made by a group in Peru called Angeles Anonimos. From Fair Indigo’s website:
Fair trade helps all sorts of workers, but in the developing world, citizens with disabilities often get an especially bad shake—they’re unfairly considered “unemployable” and struggle to make a living. Sadly, many are forced to resort to begging — or to making crafts and selling them on street corners.
In San Luis, Peru, Angeles Anonimos (Anonymous Angels) trains folks with disabilities in the fine art of jewelry making. They are thrilled that their jewelry is being sold outside of Peru for the first time at Fair Indigo. When we asked Maria Elena, one of the founders of the group, how they came up with their name, she looked surprised it wasn’t obvious. “Anyone who buys jewelry from us is an anonymous angel.”
Putting on a beautiful piece of jewelry becomes even more special when you know it is literally taking someone off the streets.
Indeed it does. I feel connected to something honorable every time I wear this beautiful necklace. And kinda pretty. And I’ve recently been inspired to shop Fair Indigo for more Angeles Anonimos jewelry, given the news on Fair Indigo’s blog that the company is not doing well and may be forced to close if they don’t find some additional business. They need an “Oprah moment!” Anyone know Oprah? Give her a call, maybe?