Tuesday, September 02, 2014
   
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Beautiful business follows Mission trip

SIOUX CENTER) -- Vi Bella means "beautiful life" in Haitian-Creole. 

 Vi Bella is also the name a new jewelry business venture based in Sioux Center.  Owner Julie Hulstein explains the idea and the mission behind the jewelry. 

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The idea came when Julie was visiting Haiti last fall.

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She is definitely in the middle of it.  By December Julie had put together an idea, called it "Trash-2-Treasure," and started working with local women to come up with the prototypes for the jewelry.  The jewelry was originally just beads, but has branched out to encompass more elaborate pieces made from the recycled plastic.

Since December the business name has changed to Vi Bella, two Haitian locations have been set up and begin production in June and another one is slated to start this July in Mexico.  

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Starting out, each production location will employ a handful of women, giving them a safe work environment with a fair wage and a meal each day they work.  In addition, most of the profits will be re-invested into the communities where the women live.

Right now you can find the Vi Bella jewelry made by area women at Holland House Interiors in Orange City and Hands Around the Plain in Sioux Center.  You'll also see them at upcoming music festivals like RiseFest and LifeLight.   The long-term goal for Vi Bella is to have all the items made by women in Haiti and Mexico, and distributed out of Sioux Center to retail business and through an upcoming internet site.  (News report and photos by Angela Drake of KLEM News)

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