At Vi Bella, we believe in the power of supporting others. We believe in creating a pathway out of poverty, in providing those in need with the tools to succeed. The inspiration for Vi Bella grew out of a mission trip in 2010, when Founder & CEO, Julie Hulstein, visited Haiti for the first time. That experience opened her eyes to the far-reaching impact of poverty and the everyday needs of the Haitian people. Without a job or opportunity to earn an income, there is no access to healthcare, education, or way for parents to provide for their families. Julie’s heart broke for the people of Haiti and she left with a deep-rooted desire to provide a livelihood for the men, women and children living in such conditions.
The answer to prayer that had been placed on Julie’s heart came in the form of Vi Bella, an accessories brand that provides those living in poverty with a sustainable job, consistent income, and a supportive community. This business model builds a pathway out of poverty for our artisans and their families.
Since her initial visit, Julie has helped create two operational facilities in Haiti, where more than fifty artisans handcraft jewelry. Another facility opened in Mexico that allows local artisans to create both work and a life that they are proud to call their own. Work centers have become encouraging, caring environments where artisans feel like family.
Alongside the work we do overseas, we recognize the importance of creating sustainable jobs for those in our immediate community. In Sioux Center, Iowa we employ local women in a transitional living community, when possible, just minutes away from our headquarters. It is our goal to break the bonds of poverty both across the globe and in our own backyard.
We often reference Micah 6:8 to keep us grounded in the work that we do. “Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly with God.” This verse serves as a guiding principle behind our work as an organization. Everyone deserves access to healthcare, education, and the ability to meet their most basic human needs. As Christians, it is our calling to embrace those in poverty with open arms and advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. Vi Bella is an outlet for us to live into that mission by providing jobs and sustainable income for those who do not have access to a healthy working environment. We offer opportunities to provide stability for families, lifting them out of poverty by providing practical ways for them to meet their most basic needs and then some.
Vi Bella is a self-sustaining ministry. We create artisan-made products that sustain the jobs we are able to provide. Vi Bella means Beautiful Life and that is what we aim to create for all of the artisans that handcraft our products. At the heart of our ministry, it is our mission to help men and women live the beautiful life that God intended for them. For us, it is about more than the products we create. It is about the stories we are able to hear, the people we are able to meet, and the beautiful lives we are able to create.