USA · Call Us: 312-450-3270

February visitors: Brandi Voth’s take on Y’abal

From left to right: Brandi Voth, Isabel Coxaj Boj, and Hannah Whalen Fuentes in front of Yabal store and offices.

At Yabal, achieving partnerships with (international) clients is one of our main priorities as it is how we connect women weavers and other artisans to consistent work, resulting in fair pay and elevating the role that women play in their households and communities. What evolves during this important process of drawing in clients is the construction of long-lasting and supportive relationships with people from many walks of life and from all over the world. The clients that stick with us year after year are people who want to help and expand the support system for the communities with which Yabal works. They make regular trips to come visit us and the artisans and to see the magic and the behind-the-scenes happen in person. They value the details, high-quality, fruitful relationships, honest work, and communication. And we are happy to receive their orders and feedback to continue improving this operation every step of the way.  On behalf of Yabal and all the artisans that work in cooperation with Yabal, we want to thank the loyal clients and customers who have stood by and collaborated with us in order to make this all possible.  

This month of February, we have had several visitors come to our shop in Quetzaltenango to meet face to face, learn more about the process from start to finish, and to hear for themselves from some of the artisans how Yabal has been an essential resource for growth and empowerment among the woman weavers in the communities of Nahualá and Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán.

One of these visitors -and an example to how one person can make a difference- was Brandi Voth, accompanied by three other professional women in support of her mission and that of Yabal’s. They came with open hearts and open minds and each of them, got something out of their visit. While in the store, they went on a shopping spree and had a blast digging into rugs, blankets, pillowcases, earrings, scarves, and more while also learning about the dying and weaving processes in each section of the shop. With Brandi’s group, we were also able to visit our friends in Cajolá at Mayamam Weavers, who showed us around their shop and shared more about their experience and processes on the foot loom and back-strap loom. We followed up with lunch and good conversation with a couple of the community leaders from the weaving cooperative.

Brandi Voth came to Yabal in a unique way.  Brandi says “I knew that I wanted to source Guatemalan fabrics for the bandanas of my hats directly from artisans.  I wanted to know who was making the products and that they were being paid a fair living wage.  I didn’t want a third party telling me what I wanted to hear, I wanted to build the relationship firsthand.  So, I searched for “social enterprise weaving companies” in Guatemala.  After finding Yabal, I reached out to the director to inquire about wholesale options.  After many conversations, we were able to create a private label bandana design for my hats.”

Brandi Voth and friend admiring foot loom weaving techniques at Mayamam Weavers cooperative in Cajolá, while also sporting one of her hats with bandanas made by weavers of Yabal.

This successful partnership with The Power Hat Co. really came to life after a humorous videocall with the director of Yabal, Isabel, discussing a design for a bandana for Brandi’s hats. Rumor has it that the support of props, such as toilet paper and a bra-strap, helped to establish the final design for these bandanas. (These props were used to discuss how the bandana would be adjusted around the hat.)

“I believe that when we educate, employ, and empower women, communities are changed, and I am so grateful to be a part of the work that Yabal is doing.”

Brandi’s support of Yabal’s mission is thanks to her work and foundation of The Power Project in 2017 which began, “with the mission of empowering others to step into their purpose, own their gifts, discover wisdom, and take action to reach those in need. What started as a blog, podcast, and book has evolved to a multi-faceted platform with a focus on social enterprise and helping those in need. When I began mentoring and teaching vocational planning to survivors of sex trafficking, I found employment opportunity to be one of the greatest needs.

With the creation of The Power Hat Co and The Power Tee Co, we provide transitional employment to trafficked survivors and under resourced individuals while crafting beautiful hats and tees that remind us of our identity. We have now partnered with other social enterprises to create an anti-trafficking collective of ethically sourced high-quality goods that create opportunities for others.  With The Power Project Collective, we are able to provide transitional employment and financial assistance to survivors of sex trafficking while selling goods that support individuals transitioning out of homelessness, addiction, incarceration, domestic violence and trafficking, fund the rescue and restoration of survivors, and build infrastructure and micro enterprises in developing countries.

At The Power Project Collective we believe that we can use business as a tool for good to create impact within communities both locally and globally.

We are grateful that Yabal is a part of our collective by providing woven hat bands for our hats as well as high quality goods that we will now carry in our storefront.”

Brandi is truly an excellent example of working to one’s full potential and thanks to her dedication, this collaboration was able to come about; a collaboration that we are truly grateful for here at Yabal as well. When I asked Brandi what her biggest takeaway was from this recent trip she shared, “I was amazed at the level of professionalism within the systems and operations built into Yabal’s framework. The collaboration shared between the weavers and social enterprises is inspiring and truly proves that we are all better together.  We believe in Collaboration over Competition, and this value is evident in Yabal’s business model.” She added, “I believe that when we educate, employ, and empower women, communities are changed, and I am so grateful to be a part of the work that Yabal is doing.”


If you would like to become a client or learn more about how to get involved in Yabal’s mission, click here: Contact Us – Yabal

Share this post
  , ,