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Artisans of Michigan: Sewing baby carriers and doing good

Credit Captured by Jes
Brea Albulov models a Hope Carried ring-sling baby carrier.

Hope Carried is the small company Brea Albulov created. It all started when she wanted a ring-sling baby carrier, but couldn't afford one. She decided she could sew one. She used a sewing machine her grandmother gave her.

She loved her baby carrier.

“It created this really comfortable, customizable, easy-to-adjust type of baby carrier,” Albulov said.

She said she also loved that the ring-sling carrier allowed her to discretely nurse wherever she happened to be.

She started to make more of them to sell. As she found success with the baby carrier, she needed help. She heard a story on a public radio station about a woman who had fled Afghanistan and she was here looking for work and a safe place to live, but she’d be lucky to find work as a seamstress, the work she did before. Albulov found the woman, but learned the asylum seeker was prohibited by the government from taking a job.

But she has been able to hire other immigrant women, and says she likes to help mothers who have a hard time finding work.

She’s purchased more sewing machines so the women can take them home and work there when they have time as they deal with the everyday life of a mom. She also freely admits, the women she's hired sew much better than she can. 

When asked how she could afford to hire these women, as many as six during the busy time before the Christmas holiday, she laughed and said, “Well, I have yet to pull a salary or any type of paycheck from Hope Carried.”

She said she puts the money right back into Hope Carried because an important part of the effort is being able to help the women break the cycle of poverty. She feels that right now that’s more important than profit. The Hope Carried website's motto reads "Wear the baby. Change the world."

Support for arts and culture coverage comes from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Public from 1998-2010.
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