I love the story behind the Women's Bean Project nearly as much as I love the necklace that I got from them to review!
Jossy Eyre founded the Women's Bean Project in 1989 as a result of her volunteer work at a day shelter for homeless women. Eyre saw that while the shelter kept women safe, if could not help them make lasting changes in their lives. Eyre bought $500 worth of beans and put two homeless women to work - the first step in building the social enterprise we are today. Our training opportunities have expanded dramatically over the years, and annual operating budget has grown from $6,100 to over $1.5 million.The most telling thing for me when I was researching the website is this quote:
In 1993, King Soopers became the first grocery store to carry our products.
In 1995, we purchased former Fire Station #10 from the City and County of Denver, and moved to our new home the following year, giving us permanent roots at 3201 Curtis Street.
Today our product offerings have expanded to salsa mixes, spice rubs, coffee beans, and jelly beans in addition to our soups and chili, along with gift baskets, baking mixes and much more.
"But the Women's Bean Project does not hire women to make and sell bean products. We make and sell bean products to hire women."
Expanding from selling coffee beans and gourmet products, the Women's Bean Project now includes one of my favorite things - Handmade Jewelry!
Working in conjunction with female jewelry designers, the Program Participants learn the basic skills of jewelry-making to create beautiful, limited edition pieces. Building a new business gives Women's Bean Project the opportunity to change more lives by employing more women and teaching them the job readiness and life skills need to move toward self-sufficiency.I was sent this beautiful Ripple Effect necklace to review:
This gorgeous 56" necklace can be worn long or looped two or even three times around, depending on the look you desire. Made with hand-twisted glass beads, Swarovski crystals and glass seed beads that are bronze-colored and lined with teal. This color combination delights the eye and picks up the color of your outfit. So versatile, it looks great with a wide variety of colors. Sterling silver clasp. Each piece is lovingly handmade and distinguished by a Women's Bean Project sterling silver tag.
I have to say that the color combination is fabulous! I absolutely love the way the bronze plays off the teal beads and it is so bright and shiny! I have been using it to give my cute little sundresses and summer tops that wow factor that takes them to the next level! I have worn it long and as a double strand necklace! The workmanship is beautiful and this piece is so versatile! It is definitely a keeper in my jewelry box and should transition easily from season to season!
The color really does change with different light and depending on what I am wearing!
I really love the customer service I got when ordering my necklace from the Women's Bean Project - the order was promptly acknowledged by email and they kept in constant contact with me to ensure I knew that it was shipped. Even better, when I opened up my box from them, there was a note from Tina to let me know that my order had been checked and packed by her!
If you really love the Ripple Effect necklace, you need to get over to The Women's Bean Project and order it now! It is being retired to make room for their beautiful new summer line!
The only other way to get it is to win it! The Women's Bean Project has generously sponsored a giveaway of the same beautiful Ripple Effect necklace that I reviewed for one of my readers!
Visit the Women's Bean Project and tell me what other piece of jewelry catches your eye.