I tapped her shoulder and motioned for her to come with me. I put the soft yellow leather on the cutting table, grabbed the rotary blade, and started making cutting motions. She nodded. I put the large ruler down, measured a 1/2 inch, and pointed. She nodded. Then I held up 6 fingers. She pointed to the 1/2 inch mark and held up 6 fingers and nodded yes. When she is done she hands them to me. I make a braiding motion and she takes the straps, finds another artisan, and they start braiding. I am called away to work in the other workshop. I come back and by my notebook are 2 beautifully braided straps.
This is my girl Jasmine with Three Cords and Vi Bella. She is deaf and very determined to give me the best leather straps possible to make our Parrot and Pineapple Tote. This tote is more than a bag, it’s a story of people being given a chance. There are artisans who are deaf, one who is deaf and can see only out of one eye, some who have prosthetic limbs, and one who has only 1 arm. But don’t you dare pity them. They don’t want that. They want an opportunity, a chance to prove themselves and provide for their family. When I started The Marketplace 5 1/2 years ago, God was very clear about something. The Marketplace would be a celebration of artisans; of their skill and creativity, of their life transformation in who they are in Christ. When you look at your beautiful Parrot and Pineapple Tote, remember Jasmine who cut your handles with precision. We are 7 weeks out from receiving our new collection by Three Cords and Vi Bella and I am so excited!! I feel like a proud mama who wants you to see what her kids have done! So, who needs a Parrot and Pineapple Tote?