Happy Piece is a socially conscious accessories brand using design and business to empower women in Rwanda to proudly lift themselves out of poverty.
Happy Piece began as the continuation of The Empowerment Project, a fundraising initiative started by Isa Maria Seminega to provide sewing supplies for women at the charity, Aspire Rwanda. The goal was to provide tools that they could use to develop their seamstress and craft enterprises. You can read more about that project here. After meeting with the women at Aspire, Isa Maria knew that more could be done to help. The women were creating beautiful products but had limited means to sell them so Isa Maria worked out a plan to bring these products and their skills to the attention of the world! By the time she left Rwanda, the idea for Happy Piece was born.
What we do
We collaborate with makers to produce bright and colourful goods with purpose. Our products are made from natural, sustainable materials such as sisal, recycled paper beads and banana leaf fibre.
Our profits go towards the education and training of vulnerable women through the Aspire development program. We have intentionally designed a two-fold approach to making a difference. First we provide an income to the women who make our goods. It fills the immediate need of how they are going to feed their kids, today, right now. Many companies and charities focus on this immediate need. It's important but we knew we needed to go a step further.
We believe that teaching business skills, numeracy, literacy, healthcare, nutrition, confidence and counselling will create a longer lasting change. For this reason, we have chosen to donate a portion of our profits to Aspire Rwanda so they can maintain their development program offering this essential learning.
Aspire Rwanda NGO- Aspire Rwanda provides the development and training program that we support. The program gives Rwandan women the skills needed to lift themselves out of poverty. www.aspirerwanda.org
Tujimbere Cooperative - Tujimbere (Let's Move Forward) is the cooperative we collaborate with to produce our products. All the women are graduates from the Aspire program.
Network For Africa - Network for Africa are a UK based charity that funds Aspire Rwanda. They have recently been awarded a 3 year grant from the UK Department For International Development to replicate the Aspire project in rural Rwanda.www.network4africa.org
Our product range
Creating beautiful, sustainable products that are ethically made is important to us. Each item is expertly crafted by hand to the highest standard. We also wanted to create products that are desirable in their own right because all too often eco-friendly or ethical goods are drab, brown and boring. Happy Piece proves it's possible to make bright, colourful, ethically made goods with naturally occurring materials, without compromising on style.
We want to do all we can to help make a difference for the people of this beautiful country who are rebuilding their lives after genocide. We also have family ties to Rwanda and want to see the country thrive.
Why Happy Piece?
Our name came about after brainstorming our vision for the company. We wanted to create "happy" goods that wove together a "piece" of the lives of our artisan's lives with trends, style and design that appealed to women all over the world. All while empowering Rwandan women to rebuild the "pieces" of their own lives shattered by the genocide.