“When our former location in San Marcos sold, we knew New Braunfels would be the ideal location to grow awareness of our ministry and the Handspun Hope brand,” founder and Executive Director Diana Wiley said in a press release.
Founded in 2007, the Christian nonprofit was originally known as True Vineyard Ministries and was created by Wiley to provide employment opportunities for survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Handspun Hope now employs over 157 staff members in Musanze, Rwanda, 123 of whom are formerly marginalized women, according to the release.
Country Director Simon Difitumukiza leads operations where women clean and card wool from their flocks of Angora rabbits and Merino sheep, spin it into yarn and dye it with native Rwandan plants before knitting accessories and housewares.
“Most of the women are either widows or single mothers and are caring for multiple children,” Wiley said in the release. “They had no regular work and limited job skills. It’s been an incredible journey to see their growth, their healing, and how empowered they have become.”
Since beginning operations, the nonprofit has helped to provide education, health care, nutrition, housing, trauma counseling and spiritual support to 527 individuals.
Those wishing to shop can visit the nonprofit's website or call 512-392-8463 to book an appointment to visit the showroom beginning Nov. 19 from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.
“We are eager to introduce our collection of ethically-sourced and artisan-made products that allow artisans to earn living wages while supporting the work of at-risk women in Rwanda,” Wiley said in the release. “Shopping for good has never meant more.”