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Local & International Items Made with Love & Pride

Holiday Baskets for Friends & Family

Many refugees, especially refugee women, rely on retail sales of craft items to earn essential family income. They have been hard-hit as markets, bazaars, and festivals have closed during the COVID pandemic.

So, we at the International Institute of St. Louis have put our heads together to figure out how to help our immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs.

Introducing…. International Holiday Baskets, an online retail opportunity to give a very special gift to a special person in your life. Baskets include a mix of handmade and commercial items. A brief description is included in the basket about the St. Louis entrepreneurs and the craft items.

Refugee entrepreneurs will receive 100% of retail price of each basket item.

Place Order by: December 10

Pickup Times: Wednesday, December 16, 11 am to 7 pm and Saturday, December 19, 10 am to 1 pm

Pickup Location: IISTL gym door; please remain in your vehicle. A volunteer will ask you for your name and then bring your order to your vehicle.

Delivery Option: IISTL Clients who are Uber, Lyft, or Taxi drivers will deliver your order for a  flat fee of $20 to one address per order within a 15 mile radius of the International Institute. If you want to have your order delivered more than 15 miles from the Institute, please contact Nadya Kanim for rates and to make arrangements at kanimn@iistl.org or (314) 773-9090 x111.

Delivery Times: December 14-16 from 5 pm – 7 pm

Cancellation of a purchase by December 14 will guarantee a 90% refund. Please email juelfsc@iistl.org or call (314) 655-0921 to cancel your order.

Please note, the photos of the baskets are a representation of the items included.  Some of the items are uniquely hand-made. We reserve the right to make equivalent substitutions as items run out.

Rafiki Basket

$85

Large African Basket includes:

  • Aleppo Natural Soap
  • Hello Sign in English & Arabic
  • Wall Decoration
  • Blank Notecards (12)
  • Peace Mugs (2)
  • International candy & food

Amie Basket

$110

Large African Basket includes:

  • Aleppo Natural Soap (2)
  • Hasma Hand & Evil Eye Charm Necklace
  • Hand-Crocheted Scarf
  • Decorative Jar
  • Blank Notecards (12)
  • International Candy

Dostan Basket

$60

Small African Basket includes:

  • Aleppo Natural Soap
  • Hope Sign in English & Arabic
  • Small Wall Decoration
  • Blank Notecards (12)
  • International Candy

Mitra Basket

$65

Small African Basket includes:

  • Aleppo Natural Soap
  • Hasma Hand & Evil Eye Charm Necklace
  • Decorative Jar
  • Blank Notecards (12)
  • International Candy

Asdiqaa Basket

$75

Small African Basket includes:

  • Aleppo Natural Soap
  • Hand-Crocheted Scarf
  • Decorative Jar
  • Blank Notecards (12)
  • International Candy

Our Clients

Artistic Creations Handmade by Hadeelah

Hadeelah and her husband Ibrahim are from Syria and moved to St. Louis in 2016 to start a new life. The products they sell helps to support their family here, her mother and two brothers in Turkey, and her father in Syria. Hadeelah became interested in macrame and crochet when a lady came and talked to her and inspired her to learn how by watching YouTube. She has also learned how to make candles, soap and jewelry, and her daughter has joined her in making crafts. You can purchase more of Hadeelah creations here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/172947680186572/

Aleppo Natural Soap

Haitham Kadou came to the St. Louis as a refugee from Syria through the UN. While he left behind his friends and family in Syria who he misses dearly, he was determined to start a new life for himself. In 2017, he started making soap after his friend suggested for him to try it as a business endeavor. Haitham had learned how to make soap from his grandfather so he fell into it easily. His work can be found at his etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/alepponaturalsoap?fbclid=IwAR2gDinlWw1bPS0MFIkfnZHZT237dfuMmqHAoPIxyJBRq-2E6NbShgjIvKo currently because his shop, Aleppo Natural Soap is closed.

Israel’s Art – Genuine African Artisan

Israel Bonane was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but due to the political strife in the country he moved to a refugee camp in Uganda and from there to the United States. He currently resides in Saint Louis with his wife and five children and is very connected with the African community here. While facing difficulties with a physical disability and the language barrier, he still sells his carvings, wall hangings, mobiles, baskets, and other African decor at Lucas Schoolhouse and most Saturdays at Soulard Market. He can also be reached at israelsculptureandart@gmail.com.

Jenna Handmade

Jenna Salim left her family in Iraq to move to America and marry her husband who lives in St. Louis, Sheima Kadhem. She misses her mom who is still in Iraq and hopes to visit her soon after all this craziness is over.  Jenna has been doing art her whole life and can make anything from candles to paintings. She can be found on her Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010979165184.

Wafaa Alwan

Wafaa Alwan came over as a refugee from Iraq with her daughter, Buthiena Medhat. Wafaa tries to visit Iraq every summer since her family including her son and husband still live there. Despite her dislike of the weather and the language barrier, Wafaa likes how comfortable and peaceful the US is. So in 2015, switching from cosmetology, she switched to jewelry making and opened her business. Her business can be found on her Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wafaa.alassl.

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