FORAI, Friends of Refugees and Immigrants, is a small nonprofit based in St. Louis that shares our passion for relationships. Their work teaching women to sew and make jewelry begins and ends with long-term loving friendships. We have worked with FORAI for six years and are so excited to now be selling their product and helping to advance their work.
When you walk into a Saturday morning FORAI session the first thing you notice is how loud it is; ladies are chatting, children are playing, sewing machines are humming. It’s a celebratory atmosphere. It’s obvious that these relationships aren’t new.
Arati is one of those sweet ladies. Arati is an accomplished young women (here she is wearing the mingle collection). In elementary school she left her home country of Burma to move to St. Louis with her family as a refugee. She started working with FORAI when she was in high school. After high school she went away for two years to school. In the last few months she has returned to complete her degree in bio-medical engineering at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.
FORAI is excited to welcome her back to their jewelry team! She will be making several of Route’s most popular pieces (check a few below) and we are so honored to help her fulfill her dreams.