Made by Voz-Empowering Women with Design

The efforts of people to make this world more beautiful never cease to amaze me.

This is what brought me to Voz and The Chol Chol Foundation, who work as production partners to bring fair trade work to Mapuche artisan women in need.

Jasmine Aarons was inspired to create Voz after traveling to study indigenous design for her graduate program at Stanford Product Design. Jasmine then went to Chile on a Haas post-graduate fellowship to offer women of the Mapuche courses on design and to see if lending product design knowledge could be effective in helping bring the Mapuches’ textiles to a broader market.

These beautiful things are all designed by Voz. Voz‘s items are made by the Mapuche women, the largest indigenous population in South America. These women are severely disadvantaged, often barred from education and professional opportunities.

Voz and The Chol Chol Foundation aim to bridge this large economic disparity in opportunity and access between the greater Chile people and the large indigenous population in Southern Chile by empowering the Mapuche women’s ancestral art of weaving with modern design.

To learn more about the Mapuche women click image below:

Voz and The Chol Chol Foundation want to empower the Mapuche women by exposing their own art form to the contemporary fashion markets.

I’m in love with the idea that every item will carry the deep tradition of the Mapuches and every gorgeous thing will enable them to maintain their heritage while providing for their families.

On The Chol Chol Foundation’s website they list what the different patterns mean in Mapuche tradition. These are my two faves.

The Andean Cross is one of the symbols that is most common in all of the andean cultures and signifies the eternal prensence of such cultures. Usually the people wearing these ponchos are “lonkos”, or chiefs of indigenous communities.

The cross with equal arms is a complezx symbol. It represents the heavens, the rain, and life. This symbol is also a comsomological symbol representing the world.

I love their home and gift designs also. One of my favorite things to give people are bookmarks.

Right now Voz is holding a campaign on Kickstarter to start their first official line. YOU could be a backer, which is why Kickstarter is awesome. For as little as $1 you can help make this line happen.

It really is not typical for me to campaign but after speaking with Jasmine I was really left inspired and impressed. Jasmine is smart and passionate, well-educated in design and has all the best intentions to take her knowledge to benefit those less fortunate through Voz.

I completely understand that times are hard so if you can not participate as a backer please consider forwarding their info to your friends and family, spread the word on your blog, or your facebook, tweet it! “Voz” means voice in Spanish, use yours to help Voz. They are sooooo close to their goal!-Deadline is April 28th.

These are words from Voz:

“We are committed to pairing cutting-edge design innovation principles with ethical production, ecologically-pristine practices, and design workshops that incorporate artisans’ ideas into final products.”

In my heart of hearts I wish there were more lines that had this mission. I am a backer of Voz on Kickstarter and I am completely excited to say that I am helping empower fair trade through design.


As of April 11th, Voz made their goal…I kinda knew they would because they are amazing and again Jasmine (creator) is WONDERFUL. I’ll be sure to post when the line is up, estimated time is July 2011.




  1. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking April 10, 2011 / 11:06 pm

    Thanks so much for letting us know about this foundation. The items look awesome. I especially love that bag.

  2. Fashnlvr April 11, 2011 / 1:17 am

    Very informative post. I love the handbags and the bookmarks. It is good to see these women are getting an opportunity to expand their lives.

  3. chelsea April 11, 2011 / 3:07 am

    such gorgeous pieces! the weaving is so interesting, I love all the colors used 🙂


  4. Anika April 11, 2011 / 5:35 am

    Hi sweetheart, thank you so much for sharing! This is so meaningful, and also great products. Big hugs to you!

  5. The Compassion Fashion Project April 11, 2011 / 11:45 am

    This is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing:) I would love to help be a backer and appreciate the wonderful information~Meredith xoxo

  6. Madison April 11, 2011 / 10:15 pm

    This is an amazing post! I love kickstarter, such a great influence, I remember reading about a young woman who sold her entire line during NY Fashion week and got backers support by doing kickstarter. I adore the artful belts, definitely. We are backing ya! Very inspiring. Thanks so much for sharing about The Chol Chol Foundation.

  7. Anne April 12, 2011 / 9:23 pm

    Those Belts and Purses So beautiful!!I love learning about New artist~~ Thanks for sharing~ Hugs Anne

  8. Marissa April 20, 2011 / 12:11 pm

    With all the tribal-inspired designs out right now, it’s nice to see a line that is actually authentic and benefiting the community behind the original designs!

  9. THE-LOUDMOUTH April 26, 2011 / 1:48 am

    Wow, this is amazing! Love all these pieces, especially the bags! What a great cause. Thank you so much for sharing with us!
    Twitter @theloudermouth

  10. Paula April 26, 2011 / 7:44 pm

    Love to see the smaller artists of the world come into their own with help from places like this!

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