Our cooperative began with a simple request. While volunteering in Congo, my good friend Mama Aroyo asked for help generating income to build a home for her family. Recognizing her talents as a seamstress, I requested that she make 25 African handbags that I could sell to family and friends in the U.S. Soon after, other women in the village expressed interest in joining our project. We weren’t sure what our business model would look like, but what I did know is that my year spent as a volunteer in Africa changed my life. As I encountered suffering and tragedy, I also grew in fellowship with the local community. A day never goes by when I am not inspired by the creativity and resilience of our artisans.