Beljoy is a jewelry country that is based out of Haiti, owned by Abby Clevenger. Her work on the island has also garnered much attention.
“I think the most rewarding part is just getting to be apart of people's lives in Haiti and being able to provide jobs that I know are actually changing lives,” says Clevenger. "Beljoy is all about creating jobs and opportunity for work in Haiti,” said Clevenger to KoamNewsNow. “We have a fashion for jewelry line that we design here in the states. We then ship down product to Haiti for artisans to make.”
While it took some time to truly get started, Abby's jewelry project finally hit the ground running. Her craft would have been something else entirely.
“We started out actually wanting to design handbags and have handbags produced. There’s a leather tannery in Haiti, and we also did some little children’s dolls. After working with people and different programs, it was really clear we should stick with jewelry. I called a couple friends who owned boutiques and they came over to my house and looked at the jewelry collection and bought it, so that kind of was my first…wow, maybe we do have a good jewelry line.”
After some time as a small business, Beljoy was steadily gaining some reputation. However, for Clevenger, the jewelry wasn't the only plus, because the owner expressed gratitude to the people of Haiti and how her company was helping them during a time of need.
“We took it to the Dallas market and it was picked up by 75 stores. That’s when we thought maybe we should keep going with this, and we took it to the Las Vegas market, which is the largest fashion market in the United States, and we were successful at picking up another 150 stores. The people have been fighting for their rights and it’s adding a lot of turmoil and tension within the country. So now more than ever, jobs are crucial. Each one of our employees supports three to five other families. All of our employees and artisans have remained taken care of and even if they haven’t been able to work, Beljoy is in a position where we have been able to support them.”
Beljoy has not only built homes, sent local children to school, and offered up any medical assistance, they also employ up to 40 artisans in Haiti.
“But I think people like to know where their money is going. So it’s kind of like the cherry on top. People get a quality piece of jewelry at a great price, but it’s also going back to help people.”
Information originally sourced from KoamNewsNow.