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February Visitors Part 2; Resilient Threads

Sandi’s group and Yabal administrators during February visit.

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.

Another exemplary customer of Yabal is Sandi Thompson-Royer, founder of Resilient Threads Guatemala. Sandi and her group of friends came to visit Yabal’s store at the end of February when Sandi also picked up a wholesale order she had made ahead of time, including a variety of scarves, shawls, and pillow pets. As lovers of our brand, she and her group also did a little extra shopping while they visited. Who doesn’t love a fair-trade shopping spree? Am I right?

Sandi’s granddaughter, Isla Poppy, holding one of Yabal’s pillow pets. Too cute! 

So, how did Sandi get connected with Yabal? Sandi shares, “My husband and I were mission co-workers with the Presbyterian Church USA and assigned to Xela for 2.5 years.  Our role was working with women leaders in the church in Guatemala.  I have a background in fair trade and would stop and visit Allison [past director of Yabal], often admiring the quality of their products.  We adorned our apartment in Xela with many products from Yabal.”

Eventually this connection would turn into a long-lasting relationship when Sandi retired and returned to her US home. She continued to support fair trade and Guatemalan artisans through the creation of her small business. “Resilient Threads Guatemala works with small cooperatives of women that we have relationships with and will continue to support.”  Sandi also explained that being small, they can focus on relationship building and therefore have a good level of closeness with all of the group of women that they support through their purchases. “Yabal is one of our vendors and their stories and high quality of weaving are an easy sell!  We were even able to go with Allison and Omar to visit the weavers in 2020.  Yabal has changed their lives in many ways as often happens in a Fair-Trade business.”

Since Yabal has experienced a change in administration this year, it was an ideal time for Sandi to visit in person and although her visit was short, she made it known that she is “happy that the passion and attention to the artisans will continue.” She also stated, “I am also happy that we were able to meet the new women working in Yabal and see their willingness to continue.  That helps me decide to continue to do my best to carry your [Yabal’s] products.”  

We are proud and filled with joy to continue working with Sandi. She understands the impact that her purchase has on the communities with which Yabal works. She has seen it with her own eyes, which is quite valuable when it comes to selling the products in her business and continuing to support the weavers and their craft. We thank Sandi and her coworkers for their willingness and dedication to continue this work and for setting an example to others who are thinking about how they can be a part as well.

You can check out the work Sandi and her team have been up to by visiting their website And if you would like to learn more about how to support Yabal’s mission, feel free to reach out via social media @yabal_ or email

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