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Join our Kiva team and help another sewist


Hey there & thank you for reading the Colette blog!

This site is no longer being updated so head over to Seamwork to get all the latest patterns, tutorials, video classes, and more.

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One of the coolest things about running a business is that you can do everything your way. I don’t necessarily mean that you get to boss people around (though I guess you could, if you’re into that). I mean that, as a business owner, you have the opportunity to design exactly the sort of business that you would want to work for.

The kind of business I want to work for is one that gives back, and one that isn’t solely focused on the bottom line. I like to give, but I think giving money to charitable organizations is only one way to help.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of other ways to give back, and specifically to work together with this amazing audience we’ve grown through the blog (that’s you!) to help others. From the email I receive, the comments on the blog, the posts in the forum, and your own sites I know that you are a warm-hearted, compassionate, dedicated, kind group of people who would jump at the chance to help another sewist.

So I’ve decided to start a Kiva team, and I think you should join!

Do you know about Kiva? It’s a really cool organization. Through their website, you can make very small loans (starting at just $25) to entrepreneurs around the world who need just a little bit of capital to gain more financial independence. And you are making loans, not donations. Once your loan is repaid, you can then roll the money into another loan for someone else! It’s a fantastic way for just about all of us to make a huge difference in the lives of people who may not otherwise be able to get financial assistance for their businesses.

Small amounts of capital can be vital for a new or growing business, which is why micro-loans are so effective. Lending just a little bit of money, pooled with loans from others, can change someone’s way of life. Permanently.

I’ve started loaning to men and women with sewing businesses (just by doing a search for “sewing”), but you are welcome to join the team and loan to anyone. Once you’ve joined, any loans you make will have the option to be added to our team’s totals.

Let’s see how much we can help our fellow sewists! I’ll post an update in a few weeks’ time and let you know how much we’ve contributed as a group.

image above: Luz Elena Castro Arango from Colombia. She’s seeking a small loan for sewing supplies to grow her business, and dreams of having a spacious dressmaking workshop someday.

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 21


A truly lovely idea and a great way to start the new year!


What a fantastic organisation – I’ve signed up. Thanks for bring this to my attention, I hope the ‘Colette Team’ are able to help a lot of less fortunate people.

Katherine @ WeSewRetro

Excellent idea. I’m in!


So timely, because I have $100 in Kiva credit to use that I received as a Xmas present. I’ve been loaning and reloaning my original $100 investment for years, and have only once lost a small proportion of my loan due to currency devaluation. I’ll join the group today!

Tracey Wirth

Sarai and Caitlin, this is really awesome!! I am in. Thank goodness for people such as yourselves-


Love this idea. Count me in.

Lynn Mally

I’ve done this for years! Thanks for using your web presence to make this known to your broad following. You are really an entrepreneur with a big heart!


This is so touching, thank you guys for doing this! I’m in!

Michelle Bannon

I’m in! Am excited to join the Collette Patterns group. Have made a loan to a young woman in Ecuador with a sewing business. Thanks for getting this started.


I’ve donated to for years, with my most recent 2 loans to sewists! Fantastic organization and so great for you to spread the word about it!


What a wonderful idea, Sarai. Not only you help us become better sewists but also you help us become better people! I’m in! And I love the way you think about your business!


This is a fantastic idea! Thanks for introducing me to this organisation! I’m in!


Great idea to help fellow sewists this way!

Melina Ortigas

Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to start the new year with such noble ambitions! I learned about micro loans in a college class and have wanted to contribute to something ever since. This gives me a chance to combine my love for sewing with a type of charity that truly respects the self worth of the recipient.


Hubbs and I have been doing Kiva for a few years now. I always search for people working with yarn (I’m a crocheter). Great way to give back and help a small business.


This is an absolutely fantastic idea. You’re an inspiration in sewing and making a business!


I’m in. Kiva’s awesome – been lending on it for a year or two now.


This is such a great idea. Thank you so much for sharing. I am most certainly going to sign up!


How do you join the team?


First, create a Kiva account. Once you’re logged in, you can join the team here:

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