Neela means "gift" in the local language (Setswana). The gifted women who work for neela are making critical strides to eradicate extreme poverty. At neela we believe that empowered women are a gift to their children, communities, and the world.
Neela started in an impoverished squatter camp in South Africa where a mother told me that she would give the world to her five-year-old if only she had the opportunity and resources. But neela didn't start on that day, or the next day, or even the months following. Neela began the day five particular women became mothers. All these women had two things in common, an unconditional love for their children, and being born into a life of severe poverty that is almost impossible to escape. Up until now these mothers lacked the resources or opportunity to provide for their families. They each have at least three children and take care for their families on less than a dollar a day. After years of watching their children strave and die of preventable diseases, these five mothers became 'neela' they began earning a living wage and everything changed.
What We Do
Neela hires mothers in extreme poverty in South Africa. The women who work for neela came to us, because they wanted the money to be able to support their children. We source the finest Italian leather and our women go through a training course before they begin hand making luxury handbags. These women are paid a living wage (much higher then a minimum wage) that will get them (and their children) out of poverty.
We make luxury products in developing communities to fulfill a social mission. Our goal is to empower women. Both our artisans in South Africa and our customers in the US who get involved. We aim to connect women around the world and show them of the impact that they are able to make.