Maria, Lucia, and Raimunda Limoeira de Norte
Our trio of artisans are three sisters Maria, Lucia, and Raimunda in the northeast corner of Brazil. When we found them in a sparse 2-room home with only a foot powered sewing machine and some hammocks they had nothing to show us but a few pieces as they only made their beautiful terra cotta ceramics when someone in their village needed something, a very slow market for these sisters. Made with only their hands, a piece of gourd to shape the pottery, and a wood-fired kiln these ceramics have a special place for us here at Cross Trade. The sisters’ long running partnership with Cross Trade has helped them acquire much needed appliances like refrigerators, gas stoves, and even a bathroom.
Leila + Gilson Belém, Amazon Region
Co-founders Steve and Santini first met Leila at a center city Sunday market where artisans like her are given a mere few hours to sell their crafts. A difficult means to support a family of four. When Steve asked "How much?" Leila began to point out different styles of varying prices for earrings made with seeds. She was stopped short by Steve. "How much for all of them, we’d like to buy them all.” Tears coming down her face she timidly asks for the equivalent of $30.00. “I don’t think that’s enough,” replied Steve. At a price more than double what she asked for we began a long running relationship with Leila and her husband, Gilson. Through our long relationship they have earned enough income to build a new home and buy much needed appliances.
Silvania + Joelia Mateiros, Toncantins
With no established market to cell to we found Silvania hand making beautiful trivets and placements only to be forced to sell them at a fraction of their value to buy what amounts to less than $5.00 worth of rice to feed her family. With CrossTrade's socially conscious buying model we were able to pay double her sale price, buy her crafts in bulk, pay upfront and in cash. This partnership has given Silvania the hope and empowerment to bring her family out of poverty. Her beautifully handcrafted golden grass baskets can be found in our Homegoods section.
Raimunda + Moracir
It is always a special encouragement when we see husband and wife working together. This is the case with Raimunda and Moracir. Both are equally skilled in working with Golden grass and making beautiful jewelry. Raimunda focuses on making beautiful golden grass earrings while Moracir has proven to be very creative and efficient in making bracelets. Cross Trade is proud to call them our artisans and continues to support their craft.
Dayanne + Acioli
Dayanne and Acioli have two small children. Like many families in the north, central region of Brasil Acioli is unemployed. Survival of the family falls on Dayanne's shoulders. Cross Trade is privileged to partner with Dayanne. The quality of her work is exceptional. Pictured here is Dayanne with Neuda, one of our Brasilian team members. Neuda helps us keep in close contact with partner families like Dayanne and Acioli. Some of Dayanne's golden grass jewelry incorporates beautiful river stones found in their local region (Our Rio collections).
Abimael + Esimária
Abimael works with golden grass to create some of our beautiful jewelry. His wife, Esimária, looks after their three children (baby not pictured). Their hard work and a strong partnership with Cross Trade has helped provide for their family and even add a little extra space onto their one bedroom home.
Maria's husband is a part-time farm laborer. Hard working he is but the inconsistent work opportunities does not bring nearly enough income to provide for a family of seven. The partnership between Cross Trade and Maria has proved to be a vital part of helping provide for this family. Her handmade golden grass baskets are as beautiful as they are versatile. Pictured here is Maria with five of her six children.
Zilda (Three Generations)
Pictured are Zilda, two of four adopted grandchildren and Beloniza, Zilda's natural daughter. Several years ago Zilda's eldest daughter and son-in-law died suddenly. This tragedy led Zilda to adopt her daughter's four children. Her work with Cross Trade helps provide for the family. Zilda and her children are shown here with new Bibles provided to them by a friend of Cross Trade in 2017.