I have written a few times about organizations that assist women in other countries by employing them to do crochet work at a fair wage. Same Sky and Escama Studios are two of the organizations that I’ve written about. And now I’ve got another to add to the list: Jishike Social Couture. It has a similar business approach as the other two businesses I’ve written about but it’s especially special for me because the items made are very obviously crocheted. (The other two businesses also use crochet work but because they are jewelry and aluminum pop-top accessories they don’t have that easy-to-recognize crochet look that this business’s products have.)

The Jishike Social Couture Story

Here’s an excerpt of the story from the site:

“Wanting to have a long-term impact on the lives of the children she was teaching, Sinead decided the best way to accomplish that was to work directly with their mothers. After spending two months interviewing all the mothers, Sinead learned what their needs were, what their skills were like, and what kind of help they really needed. From there, Sinead taught the women how to crochet and sew in order to create a line of handmade women’s accessories. Combining her two true loves of fashion and business along with her passion for making a difference in the world, her company officially launched in 2009 and from its inception, Jishike, a Swahili word meaning ‘hold onto your strength’, used opportunity to help women empower themselves to fight poverty.”

Summary of the Business

The business currently works with more than two dozen mothers in Tanzania. They are taught how to crochet and sew in order to create beautiful handmade items. They are compensated fairly for their work, increasing their household income considerably and allowing them to do things like adding electricity to their homes for the first time and get adequate healthcare for their kids.

The Products

Here are some samples of the items that I like from the site. Of course the items are one of a kind and range in price from $50 – $300.

Hamisi Medium Clutch

Simplis Basket Bag

Gloria CrossBody Bag

What do you think of these organizations that sell items hand-crocheted in Africa to people to support the independence of women in other areas of the world?


San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!


  1. Thank you for posting this! As a single mother I supported my children and myself with my crochet skills for many years. I was fortunate enough to be in a country where I was compensated fairly, but It has always bothered me that others around the world were not so lucky.
    I think these organizations are doing a great service to the women they are helping, and hopefully will make crochet a viable career choice for women around the world.

    • Kathryn Reply

      @Ann – Thanks so much for this thoughtful comment. I agree completely that these organizations are doing some good work that helps women in other countries and also helps to make crochet a “real” career choice. Always appreciate your comments on my blog!

  2. Wow their work is beautiful and quite detailed.It is a wonderful idea but With that I worry that they could be taken advantage of. Most mothers do want to participate in a market where they can sell their items and get a fair price. Is there an organization that can make sure they do receive a fair price?

    • Kathryn Reply

      @Cheryl – That’s a really good question. I would assume that U.S. organizations like this that are working directly with people in third world countries must have to report to some type of governing body but I’m not sure how that works. Note to self to research this!!

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