The philosophy behind Happily Made is that people don’t need our aid or our charity, what they need is our business. Happily Made was established in 2010 to give women in Cambodia a job, a source of income and a bright future for their children.
Before moving to Melbourne at the end of 2011, Happily Made Founder Veronica Sherman lived in a village in rural Cambodia for two and a half years. She was overcome by the poverty she saw and wanted to help make a difference. While Veronica's intentions were good she soon discovered that running a social enterprise effectively is complicated. Thankfully, Veronica met Monika from Cambodia Knits and was able to learn from her vast experience of working with marginalised women in Cambodia.
Together they collaborated on designing and producing their first range of magnetic monkeys, and idea which came to Veronica on the back of a Tuk Tuk.
Who knew that this little brown monkey with his magnetic hands would become such a hit? Not only is he loved by people of all ages but he has now become a popular travel companion and I get to see photos of my monkeys having adventures all around the globe!
Incredibly, there are now over 120 women knitting the monkeys. Thanks to the addition of the Sleepy Snoogus range (that Monika designed after many sleepless nights with her new baby) Happily Made now has a scholarship fund for the knitter’s children to go to school.
"I love that our knitters have an income – their children can now go to school and have a chance to finally break out of the poverty cycle." says Veronica.
Veronica is passionate about educating people about the importance of ethical consumerism and making sustainable choices. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by the poverty in developing countries and allow it to paralyze us. But we can’t let that stop us.
Veronica's key message is that people don’t need our aid or our charity, what they need is our business. When we buy their happily made products we are empowering them and our purchases impact the whole family which in turn transforms the community.
Find out more about the Happily Made story below