IMG_8370At first, you might pass by it as you're driving along Grand River, but tucked away in the suburbs of Detroit is a hidden gem you wouldn't want to miss. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Love Travel Imports store owner, Yvette Jenkins.

Throughout her travels, Yvette has collected a variety of both local and  international, handmade, organic pieces- each entailed with beauty and  individuality. It is every artisans slice of paradise. As you mug4walk into the store, you are awakened by the energy of its vibrant colors and rich diversity. Every piece tells a story and every piece carries a mission behind  it. 

Throughout the store you will find all handcrafted items, some locally made  in Detroit, while others come from across the globe.Even the furniture was specifically designed and made for Love Travel Imports. All of the woodwork has been crafted by local artisan and College for Creative Studies (CCS) graduate, Katie Bramlage.

Mielie Art1At the front entrance you are welcomed by an individual work of art from Mielie (artisans of South Africa) and made from cotton jersey, hand hooked onto burlap. Mielie dedicates to create employment and financial stability to bring forth empowerment and independence to women in South Africa who suffer economically. "It was Mielie," Yvette tells us, "that started this business for me, and Mielie that's closest to my heart." Mielie offers a variety of individual hand bags, clutches, phone cases, and more—all of which can be found at Love Travel Imports.

 You can shop the Mielie Collection on Love Travels Imports "Styleshack Page"cooperative djiguiyaso2 

The store also offers a unique blend of jewelry and accessories to complete any outfit. Whether you're an avid shopper or simply looking for the perfect gift for that special someone, Love Travel Imports is your place for rare, handcrafted finds.namo2 

Cooperative Djiguiyaso's handwoven shawls made from indigo plant to paper beaded jewelry made from magazine paper waste, every piece has its mission to sustain the environment and liberate impoverished communities.

Another beautiful brand with a mission is: Woza Moya, a beaded craftnamuwongo2 shop established by the Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust (HACT). HACT is a passionate, non profit organization that has helped provide income and employ over 300 women in South Africa with HIV and AIDS and aiding these women to start their own businesses to support their living. Love Travel Imports offers a variety of Woza Moya necklaces, bracelets, and earrings for any occasion. (They even carry an adorable line of beaded display Safari animals!)

Editor's pick: As I was touring the store, I found myself most drawn to the exotic Entoto Beth necklaces handmade from bullet casings in Ethiopia. Entoto Beth was started by the Beza International Ministries to provide income and employ women with AIDS who have been ostracized from their communities. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capitol believed that developing a source of income for these women would prove as more beneficial by establishing independence and employment for these women as well.

Shop these beautiful handcrafted bullet casing necklaces here!

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 More about Love Travels Imports

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"The name Love. Travels. Imports. comes from many things… my love of travel… exploration… the earth… and, most importantly, my love of others and the meaningful impact we can have on people’s lives.

The idea is to connect Fair Trade, handcrafted work of artisans with people around the world.  Our mission is to bring Love of Handcrafted Art, Love of the sustainable Earth, and Love of Helping Our Neighbors to others." -Yvette Jenkins (founder)

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