Franklin, TN (August 24, 2020)
Tennessee-based Haiti Entrepreneurial Initiative, which helps create dignified and sustainable jobs in the developing nation of Haiti, has acquired Beyond Borders. Beyond Borders, which is comprised of specialized handmade metal art, joins another H.E.I. entity, Haiti Made, a social enterprise offering handmade leather goods. Haiti Entrepreneurial Initiative is run by former Audio Adrenaline bassist, Will McGinniss. His wife, Andrea McGinniss, is the Executive Director of the Hands and Feet Project.
Beyond Borders offers individually handmade metal products created from recycled/upcycled materials, primarily discarded steel oil drums. Each piece is then hand cut, carved, and sculpted with chisels, hammers and nails. Opening its doors 20 years ago as a response to the beauty found in the midst of the hardships and challenges of everyday life in Haiti, each piece created by Beyond Borders craftspeople helps provide their communities true economic improvement, while lives are bettered through the creation and sharing of their art.
As a certified Fair Trade Federation member, Beyond Borders works with 100 artisans in Croix des Bouquets, Haiti, located just outside of Port Au Prince. They currently offer more than 300 designs to more than 1,000 retailers around the U.S. as well as with popular online stores Wayfair, Zulily, and Etsy, catalog merchant Uncommon Goods, and the Museum of the Bible. Based in Akron, Ohio, prior to becoming part of the H.E.I. family Beyond Borders was run by Joel and Janet Ross since 2014.
“Janet and I are grateful for the opportunity we have had to serve the artists in Haiti and our customers over the years,” shares Joel Ross and his wife Janet. ‘We could not be more pleased to have the H.E.I. team expand on the important work of creating a fair trade world for all.”
Will McGinniss, CEO of H.E.I. with brands HaitiMade and Beyond Borders, responds, “It’s an honor to carry on the legacy and the great work Joel and Janet have been doing for years in the country of Haiti.”
ABOUT HAITI ENTREPRENEURIAL INITIATIVE:
H.E.I. is a job creation initiative and is 100% about creating dignified and sustainable jobs in the developing nation of Haiti. Birthed out of the Hands and Feet Project, H.E.I. exists to push back against the extreme abject poverty and to come alongside Haiti’s most vulnerable people by developing realistic, dignified, and sustainable jobs. In Haiti for every one job created, another ten people’s lives are affected and supported. Visit: https://haitientrepreneurialinitiative.com
ABOUT HAITI MADE:
A leather goods store and social enterprise, Haiti Made offers handmade leather bags and totes, home goods, journals, wallets, and more. Its purpose is to empower Haitians and their communities through sustainable and dignified employment as part of a larger effort to promote economic growth and fight to keep families together. Employment offers provision, stability, and preservation of family. Visit: www.HaitiMade.com
ABOUT HANDS AND FEET PROJECT:
For more than 15 years, the Hands and Feet Project provides family-style residential care for Haiti’s orphaned and abandoned children. Its first facility was opened in Jacmel, Haiti, and soon after another campus opened. Together they were caring for more than 100 children as well as hosting numerous short-term trips. The HAFP team began a vision for a place to host a more dignified and equitable exchange between Haitian people and trip-goers. This vision is a direct result of HAFP’s pursuit to transform the way the church looks at missions. In 2015, construction began on IKONDO, a mission guest house that doubles as a job creation initiative hosting families, churches, and individuals on mission trips. Overall, their goal is for their guests to experience Haiti through their Explore, Retreat, and Serve initiatives. Visit: https://handsandfeetproject.org