MiMi Globe Goods empowers stay-at-home immigrant and refugee women with the skills to design, make, and market, handcrafted jewelry and accessories with livable wages.
Hi! I’m Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman, the founder of MiMi Globe Goods. MiMi Globe Goods sprang from my passion for helping refugee and immigrant women here in the United States to build a better life for their families. All of the profits from our goods go directly to our wonderful women workers.
My concern for refugees begins with my own experience -- I was an immigrant from Taiwan myself, 32 years ago. I was able to get an education, become a pharmacist, and give my kids a great life. As recent crises around the world brought more refugees to our shores, I wanted to do something to give back and find a way to help these new arrivals achieve financial independence.
After wearing a fashionable fabric necklace home from a trip to France in 2015, I received many compliments and questions about how to buy pieces like it.
From that inspiration, the MiMi Globe Goods was born -- and I got a chance to put my fashion certificate from the University of Washington, and my love of fashion, to work for good. Our nonprofit company uses recycled/upcycled materials, and immigrant women artisans assemble all our beautiful pieces. Each one is unique and handmade.
Our beautiful jewelry and accessories are flying off the shelves at nearly a dozen retail outlets and museum gift shops, including the Chihuly Glass Museum, Ten Thousand Villages, Volunteer Park Conservatory, Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, the Cathedral Shop at St. Mark’s, Satsuma Designs, Retroactive Kids, Drizzle & Shine, and more.
We were honored to receive the Audience Award at the 2016 NW Business Impact Pitch Competition. Later that year, we won the Social Innovation at the Seattle University Business Plan Competition and were invited to participate in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2016 Holiday Giving Marketplace
Our Pilot Project
The first group of immigrant women to craft our products were from Bhutan, and based in Tukwila and Everett, Washington. They began by making fabric flower necklaces, which have since expanded to earrings, barrettes and bangles.
The first woman hired by MiMi Globe was Toma. Disabled by polio, which she contracted during her 20 years in a Nepalese refugee camp, it was difficult for Toma to commute to work or stand for long periods. Furthermore, as the oldest of 7 children, she was needed at home to help her mother care for younger siblings. MiMi Globe Goods helped her provide for her family by creating beautiful jewelry at home. When Toma got married and moved to St Louis Missouri in December of 2016, she referred her two good friends Rekha and Ananda. She still phone coaches our two new artisans whenever they have questions.
Helping women like Toma develop new skills and have sustainable home-based employment improves the lives of their entire families. There are currently no other organizations in the Greater Seattle area focused on training immigrant women in home based jewelry making, and we are striving to fill that gap. We have four skilled volunteers assisting our workers in developing their sewing, business, merchandising, and business skills.
Eco-friendly & fair-trade principles
Here at MiMi Globe Goods, we:
- Hire and train immigrant women with sewing skills.
- Enable artisans to work from home in an enterprise that needs little space.
- Help women overcome language, transportation, and cultural barriers to employment.
- Pay the Seattle-mandated minimum hourly wage.
- Use recycled and repurposed materials, so our goods are easy on the environment.
- Treat workers as collaborative and creative partners.
- Help provide inroads for immigrants to enter into mainstream American life.
We’re just getting started in our efforts to help refugee women support their families. The MiMi Globe Goods team is preparing a major crowdfunding effort to help us train and supply more immigrant women arriving from countries around the world. Stay tuned for more on how you can get involved in helping refugees!
Since we provide free tools and training to our artisans, including sewing machines, we need donations to grow and get more women started creating and earning. We don’t want them to incur any startup-costs, as many refugees already face the financial pressure of repaying high travel and resettlement fees.
Our goal is to see our model replicated in cities around the U.S. that have major immigrant populations.
If you love our designs and share our passion for welcoming refugees and new immigrants, please donate to us and sign up for our newsletter so you can be updated on our progress.