Local Chava company inspires Latin American artisans to create beautiful handmade products

Searcy (LP)  “Chava is very unique in its craftmanship. I’d love to meet the people that actually made these. I’ve met people who live in similar conditions. They live in houses that might have just a plywood board wall. Their ceilings are leaned with space between the walls. It’s more like a shack”, states Jessica Timms, a sales associate at Tara and Co. in Searcy. Chava is a local company  that sells bags, jewelry, and clothing.

Jewlery and bags sold at Tara and Co in Searcy.

Jewlery and bags sold at Tara and Co in Searcy.

The company was founded by Fabio Rivera, Julio Castro, Fanny Bonilla, Diego Cordero, and Stephany Ayestas.  Women in many different locations in Latin America make the products to sell to Chava. They live in poverty, so making these products help them remain financially stable. Chava was created in December 2015. The six different Harding students started their business to gain awareness and support the Latin American women that work so hard on their handmade products. They are paid the same wages as the United States.

Adorable boots made by Chava.

Adorable boots sold by Chava.

Kristen Flores , the Marketing Director of Chava states “The great quality of these artisans’ work is often taken for granted and is undervalued by the natives of the artisan country. The purpose of Chava is to match consumers who value handcrafted products with artisans who need a second platform for their work. Chava expands these artisan’s market, giving them access to more opportunities. The people that make these products are passionate, kind people with many stories to tell.” They make bracelets, necklaces, bags, shoes, and belts. Their prices range from twelve dollars to about eighty dollars.  The Nicaraguan Moon Stone necklace, “pine needles” earrings, beaded bracelets from Guatemala, and wooden belts are some examples of their well known items. This company also sells cutarras, sandals originally used for men workers in rural areas in Panama. Cutarras have evolved in fashion, selling to both men and women.  The fashionable products made by these women are very diverse. There is wooden jewelry made in Guatemala and Costa Rica, sandals made in Panama, and different types of jewelry made by the Ngobe Bugle native group.

Chava’s products are sold in Tara and Company and the Harding bookstore in Searcy. Chava also has a Facebook page, Instagram account, and sells their products to friends and family members. Help out poverized women in Latin America and  buy products from Chava.

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