I love a good startup story. There’s just something great about hearing how someone (or some people) recognize a need in the world and set out to fill it.
Krochet Kids International is exactly one of those stories.
While not your typical startup (they’re a nonprofit as opposed to a purely revenue driven startup), the story reads the same. Growing up, three kids from Spokane, WA learned how to crochet, and in their free time, they started crafting custom gear for their winter sports activities. Their style caught on – they began selling their gear to local kids (and anyone else who’d buy them) – and eventually, they were dubbed the “Krochet Kids” by the local newspaper.
The trio split up to attend different colleges, but during their summer breaks, they got together and travelled the globe. As part of their journey, the three volunteered in various developing nations, and they soon realized not only their own blessings growing up, but also the needs of the global community as a whole. Determined to make a difference, the three went back to what they knew, reviving their crocheting skills under the nonprofit Krochet Kids International and setting out to use their trade to help others in need.
Enter Uganda. Over 20 years ago, a rebel army ravaged the northern part of the country. As a result, entire generations have been displaced, growing up knowing only government camp and relying solely on the government and aid organizations for their needs. Tired of being dependent on the government and wanting to work and provide for their own families, it would be these Ugandan women that would be the first to expand Krochet Kids International.
After countless meetings and a significant amount of planning, the trio found themselves sitting in a simple brick hut with a group of Ugandan women and bags full of yarn. What followed was an event that would shape Krochet Kids International as a whole, as the Ugandan women spent the night learning and mastering the art of crocheting. Krochet Kids International was born, and the rest is history.
Today, Krochet Kids International helps women in both Uganda and Peru, with over 150 people working, receiving education and being mentored toward a brighter future. It’s a perfect example of how three kids recognized a need, and in their own way, set out to fill it.
So how can you help?
Simple: Krochet Kids International isn’t about asking for your donations (not that you can’t donate if you want) – it’s about buying some awesome gear hand made by the people you’re helping. In other words, if you’re thinking about picking up a new hat or accessory, skip the trip to the mall and buy one from Krochet Kids International instead. Their hats, scarves and accessories are all gorgeous. There’s a total of 12 hat styles available in numerous colors; there’s a bow tie; there’s a scarf; there’s a headband; all of which are hand crocheted in either Uganda or Peru. The craftsmanship and materials are superb, and what may be my favorite part, every piece is hand signed by the woman that made it. You can even visit the Krochet Kids International website and read her story and leave her a note about your particular piece.
It’s a great way not only to get some stunningly unique style, but also to help support some incredibly hard working women seeking to better the lives of their families.
To check out the numerous pieces of style offered by Krochet Kids International, I encourage you visit the official Krochet Kids International Shop. I’ve picked up three of their hats for my family (the Riley, the Thomas and the Margot), and we love all of them. Buy one and I think you’ll love it too.