How to Care for Your Carry 117 Leather Product
A Dream Bigger Than I Could Ask or Imagine
You just purchased your beautiful Carry 117 leather accessory and now you are asking yourself,
How do I take care of this so it can stay beautiful and last for years to come?
First of all, the quality Ethiopian leather in our products is untreated and if left naturally it will wear and gain some scuffs and marks over time. I like to think of this as evidence of all the great adventures your bag will take you on.
The Best Yes [117 Trip Chronicles]
Growing up, like most kids in the world, my focus was mostly on what I could achieve for myself, and what I could get for myself. And although this seems to be true for most kids… it’s especially true when you come from a background of a less fortunate place. It’s about how you can change your life and escape from poverty by becoming a pilot, or doctor, or scientist. That’s what every kid around me dreamed about, including myself.
Accessibility in a Limited Access Setting [117 Trip Chronicles]
I just recently arrived home from my 4th trip to Korah, Ethiopia with Carry 117. My task while on the ground in Ethiopia was to lead the team to redesign two of the Carry 117 stores: at our location in Korah and at our store at Kuriftu. I LOVE designing and decorating. In fact, I just recently finished a six-month-long kitchen remodel process at home.
Good in the Making [117 Trip Chronicles]
We were in the middle of our Carry 117 store remodel and realized we were still needing a couple of things. One of the design ideas was to make signs to display in the store of what Carry 117 stands for: Orphan prevention, family preservation, and women empowerment. Knowing that the stores here will not have letter stencils to use, we had to think about what we could use.
Calloused Hands [117 Trip Chronicles]
Behind a locked door. Piles of scraps. Dark. Unseen. Hidden. Forgotten.
That is what the first Carry 117 team was faced with when they got to the Carry 117 compound in Korah, Ethiopia last year. When asked what was behind the locked door, Henok, the CEO of Carry 117, tried to redirect everyone’s attention. He was hesitant to open the door to the storage room full of scraps, somewhat embarrassed by what the team would see if the door was opened.
The God Who Sees Me [117 Trip Chronicles]
About a week after I got home from Ethiopia, I noticed the skin peeling off the inside of my palm. Calloused skin from using the leather punch was a reminder of the hard work that goes into making the products at Carry 117. It reminded me of a truth that I witnessed at Carry 117 - that working hard to make something brings dignity and empowerment.
The One Good Thing That Came From the Trash Landslide
Coffee and I have been friends for a long time. I love the smell, I love the taste, and I love the warmth that a cozy mug brings my soul. Yet, I never anticipated that coffee would play a role in a significant moment during my recent trip to visit Carry 117. After hearing about Carry 117 for several years, God prompted me to take a leap and experience it firsthand in Korah, Ethiopia. I needed to SEE it for myself.
August 2019... Get Ready!
In Korah about two years ago, there was a massive trash landslide. It just unexpectedly happened one Saturday night. Some say about 200 people died because of it. It was very tragic. When it happened, the entire village was in mourning. People lost family, friends, neighbors, their homes, and their security. Right after the landslide happened, the Carry 117 Ethiopian staff was helping feed people in the shelters, and we were on site trying to help in any way we could. It was really traumatizing for the entire community. You’d see the bulldozer lift a bunch of trash, and body parts would be part of the pile.
If you’ve been around for a while, you know that every Fall we host what we call the 117 Tour! During the 117 Tour, our Founder, Henok Berhanu, and our USA Executive Director, Ashley Bohinc, travel to cities around the United States sharing the story, mission, and products of Carry 117 by speaking in schools, businesses, churches, House Parties, and events.