As a social enterprise, we reinvest a majority of our profits to achieve sustainability, grow our reach and ensure the fulfillment of our mission.
FOUNDER, DESIGNER, ENTREPRENEUR - New York native Elizabeth wanted to answer a simple question: “how and by whom are the goods we consume made?” After two years in the Merchandising Department at Coach, she packed her bags and traveled to Laos. It was 2008 and she was without a smart phone or a plan, but she was prepared to discover. Upon arrival in Vientiane she began knocking on the doors of local women-based textile businesses. She was on a mission to understand how local, sustainable crafts made by women could be plugged into the global fashion market. Recognizing that market linkage and design are major constraints on artisans, she founded ARTICLE 2 when she met artisans in a rural village melting US bombs into spoons. Having studied History at Williams College and Oxford University, she was beguiled by her lack of awareness of the Secret War in Laos 1963-1974 which left a legacy of 80 million unexploded bombs. She created the Peacebomb bracelet with the idea of buying back the bombs. Since, ARTICLE22 has developed into a global business, selling an evolving collection of jewelry and home goods to customers in 40 countries including thoughtful icons like model Angela Lindvall and actress Olivia Wilde.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND SALES | WASHINGTON, DC - Kat discovered ARTICLE22 at their first NYC holiday popup. While pursuing a masters in social entrepreneurship at George Mason University, ARTICLE22 served as her case study. As she puts it, "the stars aligned" when she joined ARTICLE22 in 2018 as the Washington, DC Regional point, a critical area due to our partnerships. Kat now travels the country representing the brand and leads the DC team. Kat is passionate about businesses contributing to solving today's challenges in creative ways. She is a strong advocate for women entrepreneurs, and beyond ARTICLE22, she serves as the Assistant Director at a Women's Business Center (WBC).
OPERATIONS | LAOS - Manivone is our Country Manager. We call her “the mayor” because she is a master connector. She joined ARTICLE22 in 2013 to support and build the local supply chain. Friendship grew into a working relationship because of Manivone’s passion for serving her community. Prior, she worked with an Italian non- profit, focusing on maternal health: the Women’s Maternity Waiting Home Center and Weaving Group. Her role also included organizing skills training for women around weaving and other crafts.
OPERATIONS | NEW YORK - Hailing from Brazil and cutting her chops in New York City in various design and production roles, Joana heads Operations at ARTICLE22 from production to customer fulfillment. She started as a consultant for ARTICLE22 in 2014, taking on creative projects. Today, she runs the brand's operations. Joana is a mother, creator, and master of efficiency.
SALES CONSULTANT - Hailing from Adelaide, Australia, Kelly has lived in the UK followed by ten years in the UAE where she invested that time with Emirates and traveling the globe. By no means a fashion victim, Kelly had a happy shopping accident during one of her trips to New York City where she discovered ARTICLE22 and her very own entrepreneurial spirit. She purchased her first peacebomb story bangle at Chelsea Market and couldn’t take it off. This evolved into a role as Operations Manager in New York. After moving back overseas, she now consults on trade partnerships and purchasing from select wholesale partners.
ARTISANS XIENG KHOUANG, LAOS
Artisans of Naphia return to their bomb littered village in 1974 upon the close of the Vietnam War to find bombs, exploded and unexploded, and a crashed jet plan. One man learns to melt the war scrap into spoons. Since ARTICLE22 began working with the village in 2009, 12 families grew into 15 families, husbands and wives that make Peacebomb jewelry. They work part time and earn at least 5x the local hourly minimum wage, providing them with the disposable income for books, school, fuel,and medicine that their subsistence farming livelihoods cannot. Artisans are agents of change, healing their land, making it safe to play and grow rice.
One of the poorest nations according to the World Bank, Laos also has the unfortunate distinction of being the most heavily bombed country in history per capita. Between 1964 and 1973, against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, the Secret War was waged in neutral Laos. To contain the spread of communism, American B-52s dropped an average of one bomb-load every eight minutes, 24 hours a day, for nine years. 80 million of the 250 million bombs dropped failed to detonate, leaving a deadly legacy that plagues the agrarian population today. DISCOVER THE STORY. And yet, Laos should not be defined by this war torn past. Like a treasure chest, the country has incredible biological diversity, 47 ethnic groups, and a living craft culture of weaving and natural dyeing.