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Celebrating Our All-Female Team | International Women's Day 2023

Celebrating Our All-Female Team | International Women's Day 2023

Taking place each year in March, International Women's Day is a global celebration of women. The organisation works year round highlighting the need for equality. As a female owned and ran business, AARVEN are passionate about uplifting women. Working closely with community groups in rural parts of the African continent and across India our talented female artisans rely on sales of their craft to feed, clothe and educate their families. We've asked our UK team of international women to pick their favourite female-made items from AARVEN and tell us what being a woman means to them...

 

Amy, Co-Founder and Head of Design

Hi, I'm Amy, I am co-founder and designer at AARVEN and mother to Maximilien, 21 months. For me, International Women's Day is a chance to celebrate our wonderful all-female team and reflect on how AARVEN hopes to make a difference to the lives of more women and girls around the world.

Our Rwandan wall baskets are a particular favourite as I have such wonderful memories of spending time with the women weavers on my visit to Rwanda. It was an incredible experience to see their skilled hands bring my designs to life - I also had a go and it is A LOT harder than they make it look!

An inspirational female leader? Benta, one half of the husband and wife duo who make our jewellery. Her husband, Anton, is the creative and Benta takes care of the pricing, finances and keeping all the staff well fed! She is also a talented maker in her own right and helps with the brass casting when they need additional hands. 

I love working with an all-female team! It's such a supportive environment and we are all very understanding of each others challenges.

Knowing that the work we do makes a difference to women across the globe is what gets me going every day. It inspires my designs and makes all the hard work worthwhile. 

 

Natalie, Store Manager 
About myself, hmm where do I start!? When I am not working managing the shop and doing the online orders or looking after the doggos I will be out and about with my camera doing some photography or just going for a hike in the woods.

 

To me, International Women's Day means that we get to celebrate all types of women in all walks of life.

 

My favourite womanhood quote is "It's not who I am but what is inside that defines me." Okay, so I know that I have stolen it from the Batman film but it has stuck with me ever since I have watched it!

 

My favourite AARVEN product is, well actually all of our products! The fact that it's all hand designed by the lovely Amy and our amazing artisans handmade each individual product. I couldn't possibly pick.

 

A woman who I particularly admire is our amazing Amy, she designed all of our products, goes to events for our brand,  photographs all our new products, then after a day at work she goes home to look after her nearly 2 year old son. Amazing, just amazing!

 

My favourite inspirational leader is our amazing Bee, She looks after all the staff and supports us where she can. Bee also works closely with our artisans, giving them work making our products, supporting their business and letting the world see their amazing work, she also goes to events to promote the business.

 

 

Leona, Social Media Manager & Content Creator 

 

Growing up, I was always surrounded by strong female role models in my family. My mum, sister, cousin and aunt were my greatest cheerleaders and I always hoped I'd grow up to be just like them. Always an avid reader, I found myself lost in incredible fantasy worlds where girls could do anything. Studying for my English Literature degree (and being the first in my family to pursue higher education) opened my eyes to a whole world of powerful women, making me even prouder to be who I am.

To me, International Women's Day is all about celebrating everything that women have achieved throughout the centuries, despite everything and everyone that has tried to hold them back. It is also about fighting for those who have fewer rights than us, whilst also trying to improve our own communities. There is an ancient Shinto proverb on womanhood that really resonates with me; "dawn doesn't break without women."

A female leader from history that I really admire is Lizzy Lind af Hageby. Not many people have heard of her, but she was an extremely influential animal rights activist in the early 1900's, at a time when women didn't even have the right to vote. In 1906 she co-founded the Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society (ADAVS) and in 1954 she opened a 237-acre animal sanctuary in Dorset, fighting for the better treatment of animals throughout her entire life.

I love working with an all-female team, I feel much more free to express my creative ideas because our little team is so supportive. I think we all get each other much more because we are all on the same page and have a lot of similar life experiences. Knowing that everything we're doing is making a real difference is a brilliant feeling. Amy and Bee pour their hearts and souls into making our business as ethical and sustainable as possible, and are always looking for opportunities to improve. I know that the wonderful women we work with overseas are passionate about their crafts and many of them are so proud to see their products being sold internationally. I love knowing that we have a small part in uplifting their lives and helping to tell their stories. 

My favourite AARVEN product is currently our beautiful Ugandan Craft Basket Collection. From the creative mind of Topista, one of the incredibly talented women weavers we work with in Uganda, each basket is truly a one-of-a-kind art piece. 

  

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