Yvette’s Bags and Beads Collection started just as a hobby that eventually became a life-changing opportunity for inmates and former inmates of Davao City Jail in the Philippines.  

“Yvette’s bags help me raise my children especially the education of my youngest child who is now graduating from college,” shared a former inmate and worker of Yvette’s Bags and Beads Collection

The founder of Yvette’s Bags and Beads Collection (CBN – PH000000955), Yvette Celi Punzalan, initially conducted bag crocheting training with the inmates from Bureau of Jail and Management and Penology (BJMP) in Maa, Davao City

Worker of Yvette's Bags and Beads Collection

PASSIONATE. One of the workers of Yvette’s Bags and Beads Collection. (C) Pia Duran

“I started training 20 women. Ten women were interested. After 10 years of the business, there are around 350 women in BJMP who are into bag-making,” she shared.

With this, Yvette’s Bags and Beads Collection has given second chances for women who were worried about what life would look like after spending many years in jail.

Workers of Yvette’s Bag and Beads Collection (C) Pia Duran

“Without Ma’am Yvette, I don’t even know where to go after my imprisonment for six years. I am grateful to Ma’am Yvette for letting me work for her,” explained Angelica, a worker of Yvette’s  Bags and Beads Collection.

Unique story, designs

More than its background story, the founder behind the social enterprise wanted to showcase the unique designs of bags which she patiently drafted.

“Every piece is the piece of my personality. It shows my mood.”

The forefront goal of the business is to sell the bags with its authentic and unique designs and not because of its background story.

“I reveal to them the background story (of the business) after they buy the bags,” she added.

When Faces of SME asked her for an advice to all millennials who wanted to venture into the business world, “Passion. It is always passion that will keep you doing things. It seems easier if you love what you do.”

Faces Behind ASEAN SMEs by Confirmis

CBN – PH000000955

For more stories, visit facesofsme.com

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