SIGEF Projects Winners Testimonials: beyondBeanie

SIGEF 2014 highlighted 24 projects that are being brought to life with the help of Horyou, and two received special recognition. The following testimonial is from Hector Alvarez, founder of beyondBeanie, a socially conscious clothing company and winner of the Public Choice award. It was a well-deserved win, as beyondBeanie uplifts the daily lives of Bolivian female artisans and helps children with the help of the proceeds of every item purchased.

THE PROJECT

“beyondBeanie is a social fashion brand I started in March 2014. The project started as a result of a trip to Bolivia during which my Bolivian friend Paty and I discussed the everyday challenges faced by female artisans and children in some of the poorest areas of the country. beyondBeanie specializes in making high-quality and fashionable clothing accessories that come hand-signed by the artisans who made them, as well as help children with every item purchased. For example, one hat gives back five meals, whereas one bag gives back one set of school supplies.”

THE EXPERIENCE

“Being a small startup with limited resources, the possibility to participate at SIGEF came at a perfect time, both for the potential exposure that this event could help us generate as well as for the cash award, which would certainly help us in our initial growth phase. In addition, the possibility to be able to mingle and connect with fellow project starters as well as with other already well-established organizations seemed like an opportunity that I could not afford to miss! As expected, it was a tremendous experience. It not only helped me to network with other like-minded individuals, but it was also an excellent opportunity to showcase beyondBeanie to the extremely knowledgeable and supportive event’s judges. Through SIGEF’s attendants, we got a priceless ‘real-life’ market study through life interactions with people who know and care about social issues, so our target market at its finest.”

beyond-beanie

‘THE PERFECT ENGINE’

“The announcement that beyondBeanie had won the Public Choice award came as a great surprise. I could not be any happier that the Horyou social network as well as the Horyou Foundation exist. At that specific point in time when we won the prize, we had quite a few projects and needed financial help (training new artisans, product design, marketing and more). This prize helped to concretize them. I believe that Horyou could not have been created at a better time in human history, as more and more people are looking for concrete ways to connect with social causes that they care about. In addition, Horyou serves as the perfect engine to promote and catapult social projects or simply to find out what else is out there. I definitely recommend everyone interested in global social good to take a serious look at the platform, as well as to participate in future SIGEF events.”

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