Demographic of Artisans: Refugees
Love Welcomes launched in 2017 in response to the refugee crisis in Greece. The founding principle was simple: create hope from despair. Equip women with the resources to weave welcome mats out of the very lifevests they wore as they fled the dangerous conditions of their homes in pursuit of freedom and safety.
Founder Frannie Kieschnick had been on Lesvos at the height of the crisis. She later spoke to the Thistle Farms Community about her experience of assisting newly-arrived refugees, and a few weeks later, Becca Stevens (Founder of Thistle Farms) developed the idea of weaving life vests into fabric welcome mats.
A small team traveled to Greece in 2017 to teach a group of women how to weave the welcome mats. And Love Welcomes began. The women of the camp, Becca, and Frannie are all co-founders in this collaborative effort.
Love Welcomes' team of refugee women transform life vests & blanket material into beautiful, handmade products that are sold all over the world. Each purchase is more than a beautiful product, it is an investment in refugee women, their families, and their community.
Your purchase creates jobs, which create resources, independence, and confidence for refugee women. By investing in women, you are investing in families and you are investing in the refugee community – meaning access to vital services.
These women have been through grueling journeys seeking out a safer future. According to diaNEOsis, nine out of ten migrants to Greece are ‘escaping violence’. Their personal story is hand sewn into every product.
Your purchase supports refugee women to re-discover their self-worth, bringing them dignity and hope in a time of great despair – and the results are already being seen across the camp.
Love Beckons. Love Heals. Love Welcomes.
Love Welcomes works with 9 women in the Ritsona Refugee Camp through a weaving social enterprise. The weavers receive a fair salary, while the entire camp benefits from access to legal assistance and food security from the sale of the homewares.