The Gustafson Family, Dave, Jacqui, and their two children, founded the Abeba Collection, LLC in 2019 out of a desire to support the artisan community in Ethiopia, and empower women business leaders and social entrepreneurs. Abeba, meaning flower in Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia, represents the hardworking, fruitful, strong, and beautiful women empowered through Abeba’s partner organizations in Ethiopia. After traveling to Ethiopia to adopt their sons, in 2008, and then again in 2015, the Gustafson’s desire was to both provide support for community development in Ethiopia as well as provide a tangible connection to their son’s beautiful birth country, culture, and heritage. Listening to the voices of their Ethiopian friends and partners, the decision to provide a platform to expand the global market reach of social entrepreneurs producing ethically crafted artisan products was made, and The Abeba Collection curated lifestyle brand was born.
The Abeba Collection is available through the online boutique, and occasionally via exclusive trunk shows and market events, primarily in Southern California where the Gustafson’s reside.The mission of The Abeba Collection is to empower women to transform their communities through business leadership, dignified work, and skilled artisanry. Both women and men are provided with employment opportunities through Abeba’s partners. Though empowering women, who are often marginalized, as change makers within their communities is an intentional choice, harnessing the “multiplier effect;” data supporting the notion that women earning a living wage not only rise individually, but their families and entire communities rise with them, creating peaceful and stable societies. Additionally, The Abeba Collection, and its partners, are committed to a triple bottom line approach; balancing profit, social impact, and sustainability. Focusing on the artisan sector is both culturally significant and economically smart. According to the Artisan Alliance “the artisan sector is the second-largest employer in the developing world after agriculture, worth over $32 billion every year. Hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, particularly women, participate in the artisan sector. Artisan activity creates jobs, increases local incomes, and preserves ancient cultural traditions that in many places are at risk of being lost.”
The Gustafson’s work directly with their partner organizations in Ethiopia, traveling to Ethiopia regularly, supporting development initiatives, curating each collection, and establishing practices that prioritize their principles of artisanry, beauty, dignity, and fair trade. The Abeba Collection’s commitment is that products will be purposefully crafted, thoughtfully purchased, and intentionally connected. When you shop with The Abeba Collection, you become part of the story.