This post is sponsored by Catalyst Collections.
I used to publish a gift guide every year that included a section on gifts that give back. And even though I don’t publish a gift guide on a regular basis anymore, I still keep an eye open for gifts that are special in one way or another.
A few months ago, I introduced you to Catalyst Collections (remember my rooster earrings?) – a company that works with artisans in Haiti and Iraq. Their handcrafted products are made by women artisans who are striving to earn an income for their families.
This is not a band aid to send money to regions in need. This is a chance to bring another part of the world into your home and feel good that 100% of the profit from your purchase is re-invested into the local enterprise hubs to support the continued development of local business and artisan skills.
If you don’t have anyone in mind for one of the products from Catalyst Collections, consider gifting it to yourself! They have a beautiful collection of jewelry and home decor products. And these are great serving additions to your holiday entertaining!
Wooden Spoon and Serving Planks
What makes these kitchen products so special? Well, they’re cute and unique. So that’s a plus. But also because they are
- Certified Fair Trade by the Fair Trade Federation
- Handcrafted by an Iraqi artisan seeking to build abetter life for her family
- Proudly make in Iraq from local sourced wood
Both the wooden spoon and serving planks showcase the art of pyrography, or wood burning. You’ll see a chicken for… serving chicken! Or keep it vegetarian (like it is most days in my house).
During the holidays, I love to serve up a board of cheese and meats but even during the week, we’ll often have an appetizer night where we serve all of our favorite snacks for dinner: Castelvetrano olives, Marcona almonds, delicious cheeses like brie or chevre, and some crackers.
The spoon is handcrafted from single pieces of wood and the wooden planks are crafted in a similar manner, both from white wood. And each design is etched in by hand.
In fact, I can tell you who made these! Mumtaz Noh is 61 years old and lives in Mosul. Introduced to pyrography, or wood burning, as a young child, Mumtaz has been using the craft as a hobby for decades. With Prosperity Catalyst’s training, Mumtaz now can transform the hobby into a source of reliable income.
“For the first time, I found an organization interested in handicrafts and helping its beneficiaries to develop their businesses, and this encouraged me to develop my work further.”-Mumtaz Noh
Riverstone Tea Lights
To complete your entertaining vibes, you can set the moods with some subtle candles, like the Riverstone Tea Light holders, crafted on the other side of the world in Haiti.
The riverstones come in a variety of colors and sizes and are hand-selected from a river in Leogane, Haiti. These teal lights are part of the Fanm Limye collection, which is Haitian Creole for “Illuminated Women.” As with the artisans in Iraq, Fanm Limye is designed to promote the economic empowerment of vulnerable Haitian women.
Other Great Gift Ideas from Catalyst Collections
If you like unique, handmade, one-of-a-kind type gifts, whether for giving or receiving, there are plenty of great ideas from Catalyst Collections for gifts that give back. And if not for the holidays, they often make wonderful housewarming gifts as well.
Here are a few ideas, in addition to the products above, to get your gift giving vibes flowing!
All products are handmade by women artisans in Iraq and are part of the Akkadian Collection. And if you see something you like, don’t delay because many items have limited inventory! Personally, I’m obsessed with paper beads because it’s reusing an item in an unconventional way. And I love jewelry!
You’ll notice that the Fanm Limye Collection from Haiti uses a lot of metalworking. Most of these products are hand-hammered from upcycled oil drums. I’m currently obsessed with octopus which is why I chose the tealight plate but I’m also a sucker for jewelry!
I hope you’ll consider gifts that give back this year. Something for you or for someone else but certainly for artisans in need around the globe.