Our Beginnings: 3 Strands Shop & The Red Seed

The original red seed came from the Sandalwood tree, native to Cambodia. Sandalwood trees produce colorless pods that eventually dry up and fall to the ground. But inside these dried pods are beautiful, glossy, red seeds. To our artisans and survivors, the red seeds represent the beauty inside every survivor, and those waiting to be rescued. Our 3 Strands collection features products with a red bead or red mark symbolizing our story.


In 2011, 3 Strands Shop was founded to support young women being rescued and rehabilitated as human trafficking survivors in Cambodia. 3 Strands Shop helps to provide sustainable jobs for these young women, enabling them to reintegrate into their community with honor and dignity. In addition to providing employment for survivors, through the sale of every 3 Strands Shop product, funds are raised to help empower and employ young women so that they may have a future that is full of hope.


Nepalese artisans are the creators of our beautiful glass beaded bracelets, colored by rich cultural heritage. When 3 Strands Shop first started our work with our Nepal artisans, financial sustainability did not exist for these women, families or their communities. These individuals are now able to provide for their families and most importantly, provide an alternative to human trafficking. They have a new sense of pride, prestige and hope for the future that comes with earning a livable wage.


Artisans from this region create a variety of traditional, handmade Guatemalan crafts, including handbags, accessories, tableware, and home collections, while adhering to Fair Trade practices. Guatemala has the highest rate of malnutrition in the Western hemisphere, with more than half the population living below the national poverty line. Creating opportunities for Guatemalan artisans helps to generate sustainable and viable livelihoods through their craft. New opportunities and ongoing training support provide stability and the chance to earn a livable wage.


How do you break the shackles of generational poverty? Our Romanian artisans are developing skills and gaining independence through their work, restoring dignity and empowering people to provide for their families through the beautiful craftsmanship of their leather products. In Romania, the mission is to produce the highest quality handmade products using the best possible, environmentally-friendly materials to support sustainability from start to finish.


Our artisans in Haiti create beautiful, handcrafted products out of discarded and seemingly unusable materials including metal, cardboard, aluminum, dirt and paper. They breathe beauty back into discarded items that were once considered of no value, just as they rehabilitate their own lives as they recover from exploitation and neglect.

The mantra of our Haitian artisans is “many hands make the load light,” and they believe that when the designers, artisans, and consumers work together we can help lighten each other’s load and bring about lasting positive impact.

East Africa

Through our incredible collection of handmade beaded products, East African women artisans enjoy fulfilling employment and fair wages. Each item is carefully designed and made by hand, using each woman’s talent and skill.

While the bracelets they make are stunning, their beauty is doubled by the financial strength, self-confidence, and education they receive as they preserve and honor their Maasai heritage and culture. Proceeds from product sales benefit women artisan groups with a track record of success in providing critical support for girls and women. Our handcrafted beaded leather bracelets are beautifully produced to ensure that you’re sharing freedom, love and empowerment and styling with purpose.


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