Nozomi, which means 'hope' in Japanese, is a faith-based social enterprise bringing sustainable income, community, dignity and hope to the women in Ishinomaki, Japan by training them to craft high-quality jewelry products. Nozomi women are creating one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry featuring broken pieces of pottery left in the wake of the tsunami (and other up-cycled pottery). Each of our product lines has been named by a Nozomi woman in honor of a loved one in her life.
The company has chosen three key words to describe our key values as an organization: community, restoration, and hope. These values are played out in the daily work the artisans do, teaming up to make beautiful accessories out of broken pottery. In addition, the company experiences these values in our daily working relationships and the community aspect of eighteen women living and healing together.
In July 2012, the director (Sue Plumb Takamoto) started gathering women together to make accessories from the broken pottery. Hundreds of volunteers helped to gather the pottery. Several professional jewelry artists came and taught our staff. A web designer volunteer offered to help us get a website started.
In, October 2, 2012 The Nozomi Project officially began. The accessories were sold worldwide and women were paid an hourly salary to work. The company couldn't make long-term promises, but their desire was that this would be a chance for women to find employment, community, dignity, and hope. Now, they offer full fair trade benefits and premiums.
One necklace usually is made through the collective work of about 8 different staff. We have 15 local women who are divided into three teams: grinders, necklace makers, and administration.
Below is a video showing the creation of a Nozomi necklace pendant from start to finish. Check it out!