(Carlsbad, CA)- October 25, 2010 – Reef announces the "We Heart Guatemala" Design Initiative which launches on Facebook today and will run through December 2010. Reef fans will be asked to participate in the design and marketing process of this particular sandal. This unique initiative is centered on a group of Guatemalan women who create the beautiful hand braided threads that will be incorporated into the strap.
The "We Heart Guatemala" project is part of the brand's "We Heart Collection." The foundation for the collection is built on Reef's partnerships with artisans in developing countries. Reef purchases their handmade crafts directly, in turn providing a source of income to help grow their business and build their communities. For this particular style, Reef has partnered with Nest, an organization that offers a version of interest-free microfinance loans, termed micro-bartering, to women artisans in developing countries. Reef chose to work with the women from Guatemala after seeing their colorful hand braided threads, a traditional craft passed down from generation to generation.
Rebecca Kousky, founder of Nest added, "This partnership couldn't have come at a better time. The village where these women work was devastated by tropical storm Agatha this past spring. Using Facebook is a great way to share their story, and to get the message out about this special collaboration."
Facebook fans will have a rare opportunity to participate in the design journey. Reef will be seeking out feedback on color combinations of the threads, the footbed colors, even the name of the sandal. In addition, one lucky fan will have the chance to travel to Guatemala where they can share their experience with the Reef Facebook community.
Reef's VP of Marketing, Kevin Flanagan states, "We want to pass on the notion that there are alternative ways to impact a community other than monetary donations. By engaging the global Facebook community to participate in this project, we hope to get that message out, while greatly benefiting this Guatemalan community."
For more information on the "We Heart Guatemala" design initiative, head to www.facebook.com/reefgirls
Reef is the exotic beach brand with its roots in an authentic surf heritage and a mysterious sensual spirit.
Our purpose is to create innovative, comfortable products through a free-thinking, inspirational and soulful culture.
ABOUT REEF'S "WE HEART COLLECTION"
Reef launched the "We Heart Collection" in the Spring of 2010 by partnering with 31 Bits to create the Ugandal Sandal. 31 Bits is an organization that aids displaced women in Gulu, Uganda by helping them sell their handmade paper beads. Reef has released three different versions of the Ugandal, and purchased over half a million beads since the launch. Reef plans to incorporate a "We Heart" sandal into each season, thereby increasing awareness and supporting various communities in need across the globe.
Nest is a nonprofit organization that empowers female artists and artisans around the world. Using a unique combination of interest-free microfinance loans, a business and financial education, as well as a market in which to sell their crafts, Nest helps its loan recipients create successful small businesses. Nest instills pride of ownership, preserves ancient artistic traditions and successfully moves women from poverty to self-sufficiency. Nest’s unique micro-bartering approach and commitment to ethical sourcing allow us to act as collaborators with women artisans rather than simply consumers or importers. By knowing where our product comes from and supporting those who create it we are able to use the arts as an avenue to reduce poverty. www.build-a-nest.com