It’s been an amazing year here at GAIA. So many cool things have happened for us — things that have allowed us to further our mission of providing meaningful employment to resettled refugee women. It’s humbling and inspiring to see how each small step we make impacts lives. Take a look back at 2016 with us — and stay tuned for what we are sure will be the best year yet.
JANUARY: GAIA partners with KUFRI to create our first textile line, gorgeous ikat patterns handwoven in India that we use throughout our entire collection — clutches, pouches, pillows, and even our embroidered earrings!
JANUARY: Bothina and Huda join the GAIA team. Both beautiful and talented, these Syrian refugees and in-laws were relocated to the United States in December 2015. They came to work with us at the first of the year.
FEBRUARY: News of the first GAIA earring collection perks up ears from coast to coast.
MAY: Our founder, Paula, is accepted into the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, for local business that are poised for growth.
JUNE: On World Refugee Day, fair trade marketplace The Little Market begins selling GAIA handbags, pillows, and more, introducing the brand to a larger audience.
JULY: Wisteria unveils a custom pillow collection from GAIA, sold exclusively at its Dallas store and made by refugee artisans Huda and Bothina.
AUGUST: Knowing we have important stories to tell, we launch a blog!
SEPTEMBER: GAIA appears at New York Fashion Week, when J.Crew features us as part of its spring 2017 presentation.
SEPTEMBER: Lauren Conrad visits us in Dallas for our collaboration with her e-shop, The Little Market.
OCTOBER: Southern Living magazine recognizes our founder, Paula, as part of its first Beauty Awards, which honor “real Southern women doing extraordinary things.”
OCTOBER: Catherin, GAIA’s first refugee artisan and the inspiration behind the company, becomes a U.S. citizen. In November, she voted for the very first time.
OCTOBER: Demand for GAIA’s products reaches the point where we're ready to welcome new refugee artisans to the team. One of the first ladies, Kholoud, is pictured here on her first day on the job.
NOVEMBER: The beautiful and talented Bothina is promoted to Refugee Artisan Coordinator and Trainer.
DECEMBER: The Laurel necklace goes live. This stunning addition to our jewelry collection was designed by Huddy and is made with love by Congolese refugee artisan Feza.