LOCATION: New Jersey, United States
AREA OF WORK: Refugee Resettlement, Women Empowerment
A Story of Courage, Resilience, and Women's Empowerment
Bibi Collective is a story of hope and determination of women. A group of seven courageous women, who had to flee their homes in Afghanistan in September, 2021 have come together and are trying to start their life here in the United States. Their journey from Afghanistan has not been an easy one. They left not only their belongings, homes, and extended families behind but also stepped into a world where they did not speak the language, knew the culture or anyone else. After spending almost four months in refugee camps in Qatar, Germany and Washington DC, these amazing women along with their families have now made New Jersey their home.
Rebuilding lives, one stitch at a time
The women of Bibi collective are using their skills to create a new future for themselves. What was traditionally used as a means to keep the culture and heritage alive is now a catalyst for change and hope. They have combined their talents in needlework and hand embroidery to create chic totes bags, ornaments, clothing and accessories that can uplift every look and living space. This venture not only empowers them financially but also gives them a voice. With a needle in their hands, these women let colorful threads tell their stories and express themselves. Their art is inspired by nature, animals, Afghan culture, and memories from their lives back in Afghanistan. The designs are a mix of colorful Afghan motifs with hints of American life. Their art is thus constantly evolving as they take inspiration from their ongoing experience of living in the United States. The result is a beautiful collection of cross-cultural products that are timeless and unique.
LOOKING AHEAD TO THE FUTURE
With great determination, these amazing women are working to make a successful transition to their new lives in the United States. As they learn English and become active earning members of their families, they hope to serve as an inspiration to others who have had to leave their homes in search of safety and independence.
Bibi collective is a story of resilience, independence, and women empowerment. The products that they create are voices of change and let women take care of themselves and their children. Give By Love is proud to collaborate with Bibi Collective and amplify their voices as they spread their wings.
MEET some of the women of Bibi Collective -
Bibi Sal, the owner of Zala Collective is a mom and a brand new grandmother. Zala means brightness in Pashto. The name was selected by Bibi Sal’s children — being hopeful to have a bright future in America. Zala is a family effort, led by the matriarch Bibi Sal, who has used this initiative as an opportunity to pass on traditional embroidery techniques to her daughter (18) and daughter-in-law (19). The women make a gorgeous mix of traditional and contemporary designs.
Bibi Sho, the owner of Sprouting Flower Design is a mom of 4 children under 7 years of age. Bibi Sho’s name means Sprouting Flower in her native Pashto language and is the inspiration behind her design aesthetic. Bibi Sho is a free spirit – that spirit is reflected in her unique swirly floral designs.
JaBibi Design is owned by JB, mom to 6 children. JB’s designs are as beautiful, fun, and as thoughtful as she is! She takes inspiration from her village town in Afghanistan where mountains and wildflowers are abundant. JB finds hand stitching therapeutic, transporting her back to her garden and beloved home.
Bibi Sofia Design is owned by Sofia, mom of 4 children. Sofia is a master embroiderer and loves experimenting with new designs. Her youngest child (1.5 years) is quite the adorable co-worker, sitting with her while she sews and creates. Sofia embroiders florals, constellations, evil eye designs, and more.
Sudais Design is owned by Bibi N, mom of 2 young children. Bibi N. learned how to embroider when she was 8 years old when she was taught by her older sister. She finds inspiration from her husband and children and collaborates with her sister-in-law in Jersey City on designs. When she is not embroidering she loves playing with her kids.
REASONS TO LOVE