Olive & Annie | Ethical Wears for Woke Folk

Olive & Annie is a fair-trade apparel and accessories brand. Our product designs are inspired by women’s rights, humanity for others, and  a deep love for Africa. Each piece of jewelry is carefully crafted by our team of artisans in Kenya, created with recycled materials. Every purchase donates 30% of profit to the Olive & Annie Foundation – funding programs for programs to provide mentorship, sexual health education, counselling, and income generation programs to vulnerable single mothers in the Single Moms Club. In addition Olive & Annie supports Zawadi la Tumaini Children’s Home, assisting with their holistic orphan care programs, and support for survivors of sexual violence.
Olive & Annie founded the She Matters Campaign in September 2017 to create unity with survivors of sexual violence. Through our online platform (launching in October 2017) survivors will be able to submit their personal stories of overcoming trauma and sharing their journeys to finding strength and courage after their attack. The goal is to create a safe place for survivors to read columns from professionals in the areas of mental health / wellness and healing, and in reading fellow survivors stories find comfort in knowing they are not alone. Through online community, and multi-media advocacy including the official launch of the She Matters Short Film, the She Matters hopes to shed a light on a topic most of the worlds like to avoid, and give a voice to the millions of women around the world affected by sexual violence every year.

OUR FOUNDER

Olive & Annie began when a young single mother had a dream to support her children at ZLT and empower vulnerable single mothers in Kenya. At 18 years old Jacqueline Villeneuve moved to Nairobi, Kenya after graduating high school with the goal of opening a children’s home. In 2013 with the help of her local partner, Jerusha Wanjiru (mama to the kiddos at ZLT), ZLT Children’s Home opened it’s doors and continues to provide a loving family to 27 orphaned and abandoned children.  This began Jacqueline’s journey passionately advocating for the rights of orphaned children, and collectively working alongside other organizations and fair-trade brands to end the orphan cycle.

Jacqueline became a single mother at 21 years old. Through the years working and volunteering in Kenya with orphaned children, Jacqueline and her team identified an alarming trend. A large majority of children living within children’s homes were coming from single mother households. Jacqueline became a student via correspondence at Pennsylvania State University shortly after her daughters birth. She conducted her first research study in 2015 identifying the factors leading to single mothers first unplanned pregnancy. Her researched shared that most vulnerable single mothers under the age of 25 had little to no support for their child’s father, experienced abusive relationships, had limited support from their families, and in nearly all cases no access to sexual health education and family planning. This sparked the idea for Olive & Annie. A fair trade brand creating artisan crafted apparel and accessories that gives back with every purchase and provides employment to single mothers.
In country, Olive & Annie employs 3 primary artisans to assist in the creation of baby moccasins (all single mothers), and 4 male artisans to craft the O&A jewelry collection. In 2017 Jacqueline launched the Olive & Annie Foundation – the official recipient of O&A charitable donations. The Olive & Annie Foundation employs a part-time social worker to provide counselling, mentorship, and family planning to the Single Moms Program. In December 2017 Olive & Annie Foundation will launch the first income generation program – Single Mom Clubs (SMC) Salon in Eastlands, Nairobi. The salon was created when over 75% of members of the Single Moms Club shared they would like to be hairdressers. Several members also shared interested in owning or managing businesses – thus inspiring the creation of SMC Salon! SMC Salon will be the first income generation project within the Olive & Annie Founation, with the vision to create more branches of the Single Moms Club and income generation projects in years to come.

 

 

As a survivor of an abusive relationship and sexual violence, Jacqueline works closely with the Single Moms Club, and sexual violence survivors in the community, with the goal to empower and inspire fellow young women and single mothers to finish their education and find employment – making them self sufficient and hopeful for the future.