With all of the attention focusing around the City of Seattle’s efforts to collaborate with technology entrepreneurs, it is easy to lose sight of one of our region’s core assets when it comes to entrepreneurship: diversity of visions. Seattle social justice startup Haiti-Babi is just that. Founded by Foster School grad Katlin Jackson, Haiti-Babi’s mission is direct and pragmatic: provide mothers in Haiti with employment to keep their children out of orphanages – many of Haiti’s 500,000 “orphans” are not orphans at all, but children that their parents cannot afford to care for. Haiti-Babi aims to give Haitian families the ability to stay together.
The company employs Haitian mothers to knit and crochet high-quality artisanal baby blankets that are sold to moms in the United States. Haiti-Babi has partnered with Tukwila’s Cascade Yarns to supply the high quality wool that serves as the backbone of the blanket line, which is sold through the company’s website. After a year in business and an initial Indiegogo capital-raising campaign that brought in double their fundraising goal, the startup now employs 10 Haitian moms. Another campaign has been launched on Kickstarter to provide the capital to add baby hats to Haiti-Babi’s product line.