Practical, Beautiful, Purposeful: A Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Biological mothers and women who have stepped in to provide the nurturing care of a mother are celebrated every year on Mother’s Day. Gifts of flowers, candy, candles, jewelry, and treasured handwritten cards are just some ways loved ones typically show their appreciation on the second Sunday in May (May 12th in the USA).

This year, we’ve compiled a list of handmade, fair trade Azizi Life gifts that are practical in use, beautiful in design, and purposeful in mission. Honor the women in your life by gifting practical, beautiful, and purposeful fair trade gifts that will ripple joy far beyond the recipient to artisans and their families in Rwanda!

1. Handwoven Sisal Napkin Rings

Zig Zag Tea + Natural Sisal Napkin Rings

ON SALE! Various colors available, set of 4:  $12 

Used to pull together the perfect dinner table look, napkin rings are a tabletop accessory that will remind dinner guests of the life Rwandan women artisans are working tirelessly to provide for their families.

Handwoven Sisal Napkin Rings- Cranberry + Tea

Each napkin ring is woven by a woman from the AVEKI Widow’s Cooperative using natural, locally-grown sisal fibers. With their craft, the women are fighting against poverty and developing their families without having to depend on others for financial assistance. In the future, the women of AVEKI wish for each member to own a cow and pay school fees for their children. Such a simple piece of tableware is providing for a widow and her children.

2. Palm Leaf Phone Purse

Palm Leaf Phone Purse in Coral

NEW! Available in Coral, Dijon Brown, and Violet Purple zipper and fabric accents:  $16.00 each

Our new Palm Leaf Phone Purse fits phones of all sizes. Mom can carry her cards, cash, and phone with her, along with a burst of bright African fabrics!

A peek at the Dijon Brown fabric lining

Crafted by the women of the Abibumbye Cooperative, a group of over 20 artisans that have been working together since 2008. The women of Abibumbye do not consider themselves merely co-workers, or even friends. They consider themselves a family that helps each other grow and flourish, working together to overcome poverty. One of their few requirements for joining the group is a willingness to teach and share their skills with other cooperative members. The women pride themselves on the diversity of their talents and their ability to come together as one group to perfect their crafts.

3. Handwoven Sisal Trivets

Round Table, Diamond, Flight, and Alexia Trivets

Available in Alexia, Diamond, Flight, Round Table, and Starburst designs:  $18.50 each

Our trivets are one of our best selling items at craft fairs. Each sturdy hot pad has a loop on the back for hanging. Decorate the kitchen or dining room with a Rwandan design and then use to serve guests at meals.

Diamond Trivet used as a tea mat

Women of the Abizeranye Cooperative create these trivets using the same weaving technique used to create our baskets. With each stitch, the artisans of Abizeranye had her family in mind. With her fair wage income, she provides nourishment, health, education, and the dreams for a bright future.

4. Boutique Collection Tea + Bright Sisal Baskets

Medium Tea + Rainbow Basket:  $44
Small Tea + Pink, Green, Blue, or Turquoise:  $22

People love flowers because of the pop of color they provide. Why not give mom a pop of color that lasts? Our newly released and limited-edition Spring + Summer 2019 Boutique Collection will add color to a coffee table or dresser, or – with the use of the loop included on the back – any wall!

An Abibumbye artisan holding her partially woven Boutique Collection Small Tea + Pink Basket

Made by women of the Abibumbye Cooperative, each basket is created from dyed natural sisal fibers woven over a core of forest grasses. The group of over 20 women works together as a family to support each other and develop their skills. Since working with Azizi Life, they have been able to buy annual health insurance and pay the school fees for children. In the future, the women of the Abibumbye Cooperative hope to gain income that will help them to maintain better lives and say goodbye to poverty forever.

5. Banana Leaf Nesting Tray Set

Natural and Chevron Banana Leaf Nesting Trays

Natural Banana Leaf, Set of 3:  $72
Chevron Banana Leaf, Set of 3:  $77

Marie Kondo fans will enjoy this set of nesting trays for organizing drawers, table tops, desks, and more! Made from the bark of the banana tree, each tray makes for the perfect insulated casserole carrier, too!

Chevron Banana Leaf Nesting Tray (Large) + Chevron Sisal Peace Basket

These treys are made by women and men weavers of the Abaharaniriterambere Cooperative, meaning “People Fighting for Development.” They are determined to use their craft to lift their families out of poverty and to contribute to their community. The women and men of Abaharaniriterambere use their time together not only to weave and exchange advice – building community – but also to discuss important topics such as women’s rights. Check out all of our banana leaf products for more practical, beautiful, and purposeful gift ideas for mom!

An Abaharaniriterambere artisan stripping and weaving banana leaf into a tray

What practical, beautiful, and purposeful gifts can you give to honor the special women in your life with this Mother’s Day? We hope you consider gifts that offer life to those who created them.


Enjoy free shipping in the US to celebrate our 10 year anniversary!


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