American Express launched Small Business Saturday on November 27, 2010 the Saturday after Thanksgiving as an initiative to support small businesses across the country. The program took off and during its first year received 1.2 million likes on Facebook in one month. Since then, Small Business Saturday has become a Thanksgiving shopping tradition and a retail success reflected in the estimated $5.5 billion spent by consumers in 2012.

Small_Biz_Sat_Digital_Banner

Mushmina started in 2009, only a year before Small Business Saturday was founded. The fashion company’s mission is to not only employ and empower women in North Africa but to distribute and sell on a global level the beautiful and impeccably crafted accessories made by artisans in rural Morocco. Mushmina is truly a small business with many of the women who create the custom handmade goods working from home. In 2011, Mushmina opened a shop in Philadelphia and in 2012 they established an online store.

Mushmina remains true to its roots as a small business focused on growing by creating opportunities for women in developing countries and making one of a kind, must-have products for fashion conscious customers worldwide.

The goal of Mushmina is to do good while inspiring every one of its customers to be beautiful and expressive. So come shop small with Mushmina on Saturday, November 30 and embrace authentic fashion that gives back to the global community.

Cleo Walnut Necklace Mushmina_Card


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to shop:
Mushmina Flagship Store
1540 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Tel: 215-732-5500

http://www.mushmina.com/

Grand Central Holiday Fair – NYC Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Hall. 42nd Street and Park Avenue

By Yvonne King

Sunday dreaming @Mushmina

November 24, 2013

President of the newly formed women’s cooperative of Oued Zem, Kenza Jbilou’s [Ji-Bi-Lo] dream is to just be comfortable ‘mertaha’  and to learn to drive.

What’s your dream?

Happy Sunday from Mushmina!

Kenza

We invite you to be a part of the Flying Camel Movement!

Mushmina’s Flying Camel is a Women’s Training Center in Oued Zem Morocco – a space where women artisans  gather to sustain their crafts, train young women in the community, and work together in efforts to attain financial stability; thus enabling their families, their communities, and their culture to prosper.

Workshop Oued Zem (5)According to the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index Morocco ranks in the lowest percentile in measuring economic participation (128th of 135 countries) and educational attainment for women (115th of 135). Many women in Morocco do not have bank accounts and are often forced to stay in bad marriages because they do not have the economic resources to make other choices. We recognize how crucial education and new skill development is in equipping women with the skills necessary to participate in the labor force, thus enabling them to have more power over their lives.

Based in rural Morocco, the Flying Camel Women’s Training Center serves thirty women in the region of Khrouribga, Oued Zem and Boujad in learning employable skills; sewing, pattern-making, computers, and business 101 for artisans.

Contact us to find out how you can be involved in fundraising, training, and empowering women: info@mushmina.com

www.mushmina.com

Workshop Oued Zem (6)

Flying Camel Workshop (16)

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From the Window to Morocco Series by Yvonne King and Heather O’Neill 2013

A Window to Morocco

November 19, 2013

A Window to Morocco, a new series and glimpse into life in Morocco

Having Only a Grade School Education Doesn’t Stop Kenza Jbilou from Using her Business and Artisan Skills to Bring Moroccan Style to the Fashion World

Kenza (1)

Kenza Jbilou [pronounced Ji-Bi-Lo] is the essence of warmth and a powerhouse who exudes a strength that inspires those around her. If you find yourself in her native Morocco and are lucky enough to meet her, she will give you a heartfelt welcome hug, mix you her famous sheeba herbal tea, and proudly give you a tour of her workshop. You can be sure you will also leave with an exquisitely crafted handmade gift as a remembrance of your visit.

Kenza was born in Guelmina, a small village in eastern Morocco and grew up in the town of Errachidia on the border of the Sahara Desert. Although her formal education ended in the fifth grade, she learned sewing and embroidery skills from her mother in their home.  Kenza became highly skilled in artisan crafts and it has been the way she has made her income in her life from a young age. Instilled with a strong work ethic by her mother, the hard working and intellectually curious Kenza was not content to only be educated in one area and also gained office skills while working for a Renault car dealership and EFAT private school in Errachidia.

When she was only 13 years old, a desperate Kenza attempted to hurt herself after enduring two months of marriage to a man 20 years her senior. Kenza returned to her family and did marry again at the age of 18 and started a family. She and her husband soon realized that his starting salary as police officer was not enough to cover their expenses. Like many families in the United States, they became a dual income couple after Kenza sought a job to contribute to the family. Her income has been an important and stabilizing factor in the family’s well being. She and her husband have three sons (Yousam 26, Merwan 23, Safwan 18) and a daughter (Khowla age 12).

Concerns about her family are Kenza’s biggest obstacles. High unemployment is an urgent issue in Morocco and Kenza’s sons have had a difficult time finding consistent employment. According to tradingeconomics.com, the unemployment rate in Morocco increased to 9.10 percent in the third quarter of 2013 from 8.80 percent in the second quarter of 2013. *The unemployment rate for youths, 15 to 24, rose from 17.1 per cent to 18.4 per cent, but due to under-reporting it is thought to be a much higher percentage.

While Kenza is anxious about her sons’ prospects, she is not worried about her daughter Khowla because she is still young and she is training her to cherish her freedom and be able to stand up for herself. Khowla is also assured a place in the cooperative alongside her mom.

Kenza came to the cooperative through Mushmina co-founder Heather, a family friend since 2003. She became involved with Mushmina in the spring of 2010. Her initial role was doing the finishing work and hand stitching for Mushmina scarves and wallets. Heather quickly realized that Kenza had a gift for creating beautiful handmade accessories and a head for business. She entrusted Kenza with more responsibility and each year as the work grew Kenza recruited her friends and neighbors to work alongside her. She recently was elected the president of the newly formed women’s cooperative of Oued Zem, which includes managing the work, the payments, and production schedule. She currently oversees nine women and has expansion plans for the cooperative.

She would like to increase the space to a second floor for the women’s workshop and expand the cooperative to offer English classes. She also plans to sell to many new customers both in Morocco and abroad. Most importantly her dream is to just be comfortable ‘mertaha’ (Arabic) and to learn to drive. We have no doubt that with Kenza’s exceptional skills and ambition she will achieve beyond her aspirations.

*Ali, S. (2013, August 8). Morocco Jobless Rate Tops One Million.  magharebia.com/en_GB.

http://magharebia.com/en_GB/articles/awi/features/2013/08/13/feature-04

By Co-Authors Yvonne King and Heather O’Neill

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It’s opening day at New York’s Grand Central Holiday Fair!

Mushmina is back for our 3rd consecutive year at NYC’s most famous holiday fair.

Where: NYC’s Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Hall. 42nd Street and Park Ave.

When: Nov 18-Dec 24th.  Daily 10am-8pm, 11am-7pm Sundays.

NYNOW2MushminaThis year we have a new look of Moroccan teal…

New Cleo Collection reclaimed wood jewelry by creative director, Katie O’Neill.

Wood Collection Necklaces Mushmina

A Vintage Khemissa (Hand of Fatima) Collection, and beautiful enameled silver

We also have new stories to share, we opened a women’s workshop in Morocco this year.

Khadiga and family (2)

Hope to see you there!

Love, Heather, Katie, & the Mushmina team

www.mushmina.com

Khemissa Earrings Blue

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.” Marcel Proust

All around us are messages that lead us to believe our lives are ones of scarcity and lack, and that competition with one another is the only way we can truly succeed. However, when we begin to witness the world—whether standing in the middle of a majestic forest or scanning the shelves at the grocery store—we come to understand that the entire universe presents itself to us and is ours to enjoy.

In order for us to truly experience everything the world has to offer, we must first come to appreciate all that we already have. By being truly grateful, we open the door to all the power, wisdom, and creativity of the universe, connecting ever more deeply with pure consciousness and its ability to usher anything we can envision into our lives.

From the Deepak 21 day FREE Meditation Challenge.
Have a great Sunday!

https://chopracentermeditation.com/challenge

Mushmina Khemissa Necklaces

Mushmina Khemissa Necklaces

 

 

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