designing a fairer world | Amanda’s Story

By: Marcee Nelson

Let’s say you’re a young woman in your 20s with a degree in finance and a secure career ahead of you.  But you start to feel a need to add more purpose to your life.  It would mean giving up your job, leaving your country, and volunteering in a poor, developing area of the world.

Would you do it?

Amanda Judge did. That’s how she started Faire Collection.

Even as a child, Amanda was more aware than most how random it is where you are born and how that determines your position in life.  It seemed unfair to her that so many people were born in countries that are extremely poor.

 “I always wondered, how did I get here and why am I so fortunate?” 

Now every time she walks in the door of her jewelry workshop in Ecuador, Amanda hears the happy chatter of the 10 artisans who work there.  Her full-time workers get benefits we take for granted in the US, like free lunch, flexible family leave, and health insurance.  They are able to earn a good living in a fair work environment.

Faire Collection has also changed the lives of Olga and her cousin Nancy, who manage their own Ecuador workshop.  When Amanda first met Olga, she lived in a one-room mud brick hut with no bathroom.  Her family slept on straw mats.  Two years later, Amanda and Olga were strolling hand-in-hand down her village road when Olga excitedly told her they got new mattresses — real ones.  Amanda reminded Olga that, after she had asked to “try out” the mattress in Amanda’s hotel room, she had said didn’t think she would like it.  Olga admitted, “I said that because I didn’t think owning a mattress was a possibility.”

Now married with a 2-year-old daughter, Amanda visits her “extended-family” in Ecuador on a regular basis.  And she loves visiting and designing jewelry with artisan couple Suong and Binh in Vietnam.  For them, Faire Collection means they can safely support their family and improve life in their local community.   

“The reward is tremendous.  I really love what I do and can’t separate myself from the work or the people.”

On that pivotal day when she held her breath, left everything she knew, and leapt into the unknown, Amanda’s life changed forever for the better.  And so did the lives of Olga, Nancy, Suong, Binh, and all the artisans of Faire Collection.

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Shop our new soHza ecuador dragonfly collection

from amanda & faire collection

15% of every purchase goes to a local women’s cause you choose.

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