Darzah is a 100% handmade, hand-embroidered non-profit fashion brand that works to empower women in the West Bank. The ancient art form of tatreez, passed down from generation to generation, is used in every piece with the focal point of helping create sustainable income for women in Palestinian culture. Learn more on what makes Darzah special below, or view their selection of handmade pieces.
What drove you to start your business?
Darzah is a part of Child’s Cup Full, a non-profit social enterprise working to empower low-income and refugee women in the West Bank, Palestine.
The organization is the result of a small fundraising initiative to support grassroots education programs that the organization’s founder, Dr. Janette Habashi, conducted alongside her graduate students in 2008. Although the community appreciated the financial support, a small group of mothers vocalized their desire for a more permanent source of income and reached out to Dr. Habashi for direction. Dr. Habashi recognized the overwhelming need for a more sustainable, long-term solution to the economic hardships that families in the West Bank so commonly experience, as females do not have access to reliable or sustainable work. With this realization and an initial fundraising campaign of only $4000, Child’s Cup Full was born.
Who are your employees or your artisans?
Darzah’s artisans are refugee and low-income women from Zababdeh, a small village in the West Bank.
How did you find them?
As word began to circulate in the surrounding areas about CCF’s work, an increasing number of women began reaching out to the organization in search of employment. This prompted Dr. Habashi to consider how additional jobs could be created for them. She realized that the majority of these women specialize in the ancient art form of “Tatreez,” or traditional Palestinian embroidery. Soon after, Darzah was created.
What do they mean to you?
Darzah’s artisans are the heart and soul of the organization, as it was founded in order to supply them with training and employment.
What made you decide to start producing ethically?
Since Darzah was founded as a way to empower women in the West Bank, producing ethically has always been central to the organization.
What impact has your business had on your community?
Child’s Cup Full’s brands, Darzah and Zeki Learning, have had a tremendous impact on the community. The organization was founded on the principle that when you invest in a woman, you invest in the larger community. This has proven true for the brand’s artisans, as the women our better able to provide for themselves, their children, and their families.
What was the most difficult part of starting and running your business?
Starting and running a business, especially a non-profit social enterprise, is a constant challenge, especially because the organization’s founder, Dr. Janette Habashi, had no prior business experience.
What has been the most rewarding outcome of your business?
The most rewarding outcome of Darzah is seeing our mission to empower women in the West Bank fulfilled in the lives of our artisans.
What is your company’s mission?
Our mission is twofold: 1) To create economic opportunities for refugee and low-income women artisans, and 2) To celebrate tatreez embroidery and Palestinian cultural heritage.