Total loan: $3,000

Etkie Group

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Albuquerque, NM, United States / Retail

Etkie Group's loan finished fundraising,
but these similar borrowers just need a little more help to reach their goals!

A loan helped to pay for materials to produce high-end beaded bracelets.

Etkie Group's story

This Etkie loan group is comprised of three full-time Navajo Etkie artists and one of their daughters who will also benefit from using the materials through her mother's loan. Their community, the Cañoncito Band of Navajos, is located roughly 35 miles from Albuquerque, New Mexico. During the 2000 census, the tribe documented 1,649 enrolled members, estimating that approximately 70 percent of the Tohajiilee adult population is unemployed. Dorothy, the mother of our head designer Dru, has beaded all of her professional life. Prior to working for Etkie, Dorothy was employed for ten years creating beaded embellishments for leather goods. After the passing of her boss, she and her sisters were hired as maids at a motel in Albuquerque, their only option to make a living without formal education. In order to return to beading, a profession that she loved, Dorothy began working with a woman who paid her what averaged to only $3.00 an hour for her incredible work. With the opportunity for employment through Etkie, Dorothy now earns between $8.00 and $13.00 an hour and is able to put money into a formal savings account. This Kiva loan will be utilized to increase working capital (purchase of wholesale beads and leather) that the women will acquire from wholesalers under Etkie’s non-taxable business ID. The artisans will subsequently sell what they produce directly back to Etkie upon completion of their orders. While beading is traditionally a Plains Indian tradition, the Navajo have adopted beadwork as a means of financial and cultural resilience. It has been incorporated into their daily life and remains an important storyline in their cultural identity.