Mbale Earrings
Mbale Earrings
Mbale Earrings
Mbale Earrings
Mbale Earrings

Mbale Earrings

Regular price $36.00 Save $-36.00
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Only 16 items in stock!

Only Available in USA

WHY WE LOVE THEM - Timeless, Supports Artisans, Handmade, Sustainable Material, Ethical Manufacturing, Fair Trade, Mission Driven

STYLING

These timeless earrings are perfect for work and if you want a classy outfit completer!

DESCRIPTION

'Mbale' means 'Plate' in Tumbuka, the language of Northern Malawi

Each unique piece is made by hand in our solar-powered workshop in Malawi. No two pieces are identical— slight variations should be embraced.

    MATERIAL & CARE INSTRUCTIONS

    Satin brass, sterling silver posts

    Every YEWO order comes with hand sewn linen bag, a jewelry care card, and and a polish pad to help maintain your item. Please read our Jewelry Care page for more information on cleaning + storing your YEWO jewelry.

    PROCESSING & DELIVERY

    Order takes about 1 - 2 days to process. Shipping in the U.S. is typically is 3-7 business days.


     

    Yewo

    Meet Yewo

    pronounced 'yay-whoa' : meaning 'thank you' 

    We can all do our part in improving the world on an individual level. Yewo believes that design should not sacrifice social responsibility and things we wear should be a reflection of our values.

    Founded by duo Maddy and Kyle in 2018, YEWO is  a social enterprise + a jewelry design studio based in both Asheville, NC and Manchewe Village, Malawi. Every YEWO item is thoughtfully hand fabricated in our Malawi based workshop using both unique and traditional metal working techniques. By choosing to make products in the way they do, they directly create jobs in Malawi that encourage growth, financial stability, and a family-like workplace. In addition, a portion of YEWO sales are invested in local community development initiatives in Malawi.

     

     

    Values

    Their mission is to use design, skill-set training, + responsible manufacturing to generate income and uplift individuals living in rural poverty in northern Malawi.

    Their goals are to create transparency through our supply chain, support the individuals they work with, and celebrate the products they create together.

    Their process starts with design in their studio in Asheville NC. These ideas then come to life in their workshop in Manchewe, Malawi.

     

    Team

    They are a team of optimistic artists and craftspeople obsessed with design and the technical process (while not taking themselves too seriously). The best five months out of the year are the ones they (Maddy + Kyle) spend at their workshop with their team in Manchewe Village, providing metalsmith training, researching techniques and materials, prototyping new designs, expanding community development initiatives, and eating a lot of nsmia (a staple dish made from maize).
    Almost all of their team had previously never held a job in the formal economic sector, had access to reliable income, or knew a single thing about making jewelry before starting work at YEWO. They saw an opportunity to share their skills, open up a new market, and provide reliable employment.

    Social Impact

    THEIR  WHY ? The YEWO workshop is based in a mountainous rural village in Malawi where roughly 95% of the community are either unemployed (depending solely on subsistence farming— growing enough food annually for their family) or working in the informal economic sector (i.e. selling goods in the marketplace or one-off jobs— usually paid well below minimum wage). Almost all of their team had previously never held a job in the formal economic sector, had access to reliable income, or knew a single thing about making jewelry before starting work at YEWO. They saw an opportunity to share their skills, open up a new market, provide reliable employment, social benefits, and give back a portion of sales to local community development initiatives in Malawi.

    W O R K S H O P

    The YEWO workshop sits in Manchewe village; overlooking the mountains that make up the great rift valley— a truly beautiful setting to create.

    They built the workshop in 2018 and continue to improve it every year.

    Although beautiful, our rural setting has created many production challenges. For example, there is no electricity in the entire village, they have running water about 20% of the time, and they are three hours away from the main town. However, what they lack in resources, they make up with creative solutions and a team of overly positive individuals. Their workshop has become the gathering spot for all of them to come together as a small family to problem solve, laugh, and create.

     

    P R O C E S S

    1. Maddy comes up with a specific design in their studio in Asheville, NC. 

    2. Kyle figures out how to make this design and the best way to source the raw materials needed.

    3. Head to Malawi for five months. Kyle personally trains Wakisa and Kennedy (YEWO’s workshop managers) how to make the new product from start to finish at their workshop.

    4. Wakisa and Kennedy are then responsible for training the YEWO crew how to make the product, and oversee quality control, packaging, and shipping.

    5. Maddy figures out how to sell the product back in the US… Sales create wages!

    6. Funds are sent back to Malawi monthly. Kennedy and Wakisa manage the YEWO budget (food budget, salaries, savings programs, petty cash, etc.)

    These shared responsibilities create a social business built on mutual trust and collaboration throughout the entire manufacturing process. They depend on each other to be successful and therefore hold each other accountable for their roles within their little company.

    〰️

    E F F E C T S  O F  A  S A L E R Y  +  B E N E F I T S :

    They believe business can be used for good and ethical employment. The following are values they have implemented as a social business:

    L I V I N G  W A G E S

    YEWO employees work Monday through Friday on contract, guaranteeing a stable salary with benefits, consistent work, and annual raises. The average salary of a YEWO employee is at least 2x higher than the national minimum wage in Malawi.

    S A V I N G S

    95% of YEWO employees have started a monthly savings account through the YEWO savings program. These funds are used for many things that improve both the day-to-day and long-term quality of life for their team and their families. So far, their team has used their savings for: investing in higher education for their children/families, constructing or developing their houses, starting a small-scale side business, expanding their gardens yield.

    D A I L Y  M E A L S

    YEWO employees are provided two daily meals + tea (made with love by mama Joy, the onsite YEWO cook).

    T R A I N G I N G S

    They believe in holistic employment and offer the YEWO team annual trainings that range from personal financial management and team building communication, to jewelry making competitions and health & first aid courses. 

    P A I D  T I M E  O F F

    YEWO employees work five days a week and receive 21 days of paid time off  per year plus major holidays. Providing sufficient days off allows staff to tend to their gardens, spend time with their families, and avoid burnout of the job.

    H E A L T H C A R E

    YEWO employees have access to an individual healthcare fund to assist with hospital fees.

    W O R K I N G  C O N D I T I O N S

    Improving the environment of their workshop and providing healthy working conditions their ongoing priorities. All YEWO employees receive uniforms and appropriate protection (gloves, eyewear, masks, etc.) for the production process within the workshop. Every year they upgrade their workshop and invest in tools/machines needed. This has led to increased productivity, access to technical training, safe working conditions, and a general sense of pride and creative inspiration in their place of work.

    G I V E  B A C K

    A portion of YEWO sales are invested back into the local community development initiatives. Currently, YEWO sales support:

    〰️ The YEWO Nursery School: providing wages for four nursery school teachers 

    〰️ A daily feeding program for twenty nursery school children 

    〰️ Salaries for Two Primary School Teachers

    〰️ Scholarships for Three Secondary School Students

    E C O N O M Y

    To minimize their carbon footprint, they strive to source locally whenever possible— which can be challenging as almost everything is imported into Malawi. However, by sourcing raw materials locally, buying local produce for their daily meals, and working with nearby wood carvers, they are able to invest funds back into the surrounding economy.

     

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