How Beads Are Changing the World

How Beads Are Changing The World

Arts, crafts, and hobbies can impact us all in a variety of wonderful ways. As the customer, enthusiast or collector, art can elicit and inspire joy, helping us to gain insight into another person’s perspective, or interpretation of beauty and the world around us. For the artist, the opportunity to create offers the unique gift of self-expression, and in some cases, it can even be therapeutic. For other artists and organizations, the creative process can be even more meaningful. Through the production of art, such as beaded jewelry, individuals and organizations are learning skills that empower them to earn income and support their cause.

With the newest addition to Mama's Minerals’ annual Arts & Crafts Fair, our Community ROCKS! section, we were lucky to have many opportunities to network and connect with some non-profit organizations in the community that we hadn't heard of before. One of those organizations is the New Mexico Woman's Global Pathways. Their mission statement is: “Creating entrepreneurial journeys for refugee and immigrant women.” Through their collaboration with local organizations and through individual and community contributions, NMWGP is able to assist women in transition from welfare to “self help.” This is done by providing a nurturing environment, while helping them create entrepreneurial businesses through the construction of hand-made goods and art, such as woven items and beaded jewelry.

Another organization that is utilizing the power of art to empower people is Solace Crisis Treatment Center in Santa Fe. Solace focuses on offering life-changing services through a specialized clinical team, advocacy center, and education and prevention experts to help survivors and the community restore strength in the face of adversity.  Solace has developed a group called the Woman's Jewelry Collective. Members of the collective create magnificent works of wearable art, constructed through bead stringing, from donated materials and beads. With the production and sale of the jewelry, these women are able to find some financial independence.

Mama’s Minerals is pleased to sell art produced by different community-based organizations.  For example, we offer a collection of paper beads from Uganda, handcrafted by an African women's fair trade cooperative. These unique beads are made of recycled paper and glass seed beads. The beads help women in impoverished areas earn an income that improves their lives and the lives of their families.

How to Help:

There are many ways that we as individuals and the community can help and get involved with wonderful organizations such as these. We can start by contacting Solace or NMWGP and volunteering our time, or asking what sort of material donations are currently needed. Cash donations are also a big help in keeping organizations like these alive.

For more information or to help these these organizations, visit or call:

Solace Crisis Treatment Center

New Mexico Women's Global Pathways


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