Founder of Karama, Dyan, felt called to start Young Life in Ethiopia. After making the move from Indiana to Africa, she started building relationships with community members. Dyan saw the need for livable wages after learning that many women were in undignified professions. Dyan started brainstorming how to create livable wages and noticed the wonderful craftsmanship in the local community. Dyan wanted to help grow the local craftsmanship business. She ordered silkworms and taught herself how to spin silk. Soon after learning her new skill, Dyan began teaching six women how to make scarves. The scarves were then shipped to women in the U.S. and sold.
Since 2008, Karama has expanded into six countries, working with 2400 people and 30 local businesses. Karama’s first artisan partnership has grown from six employees to 175 full time and 70 part time employees. Karama develops relationships with local business owners, so employees are not directly employed by Karama. Through this innovative business model Karama is supporting small business and local entrepreneurship while building relationships with artisans. Karama places large orders from local businesses and sells the products online and at vendor fairs in America. This creates jobs by allowing business owners to hire more employees to fill the large orders. The relationship also allows for artisans and small business owners to learn and understand the trends in the global marketplace. Each year Karama donates their profits to Young Life Africa in order to send youth to camp. Young Life camp helps youth explore Christianity. Young Life has been able to touch the lives of 67,000 youth in Africa in the last year.
Karama carries an abundance of products. Product lines include apparel, accessories, baby, bags, home, jewelry, leather, skin care, stationery, and gifts. The products are high quality and unique. I love my new Karama tea towel! It is the perfect touch to my kitchen. The Karama necklace is wonderful too, fashionable and made of great quality materials. I encourage you to check out Karama products. Shop to support these hardworking African artisans.