Christmas Vacation

The Haitian Bead Project is officially on vacation! Our artisans are enjoying all the Christmas programs & time with family in Pignon & Savanette. Our volunteer staff in Fresno is taking a much-needed break. Joyeux Noel! Merry Christmas! We are grateful for God’s provision this year! We will not be shipping from December 24th-30th, but we look forward to hearing from you in the New Year!

The Bead Project goes to the Conventions!

We are excited to announce that The Haitian Bead Project will be participating in two big conventions, Central California Women’s Conference (CCWC), and MOMcon this fall!  These conferences will be hosting hundreds of women from all over the US, and we hope to share the products and stories of our hardworking Haitian women with as many as we can. Our booth at each conference will feature  our new products and some old favorites as well. Please come out and join us!


Turquoise & black set

We have a host of new sets of Haitian Beads coming out this fall!

Central California Women’s Conference 2013

September 17th, 7:00-4:00 p.m.

Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center

848 M Street
Fresno, CA 93721
Booth #162

MOPS logo

MOMcon 2013

October 17-19

Kansas City Convention Center
Kansas City, Misouri

*We will have our Fall collection at the convention to share as well as Party Boxes on hand for any MOPS groups that may want to take some of our collection home to sell for the holidays and bless our Haitian artisans in the process.

Savanette artisans enjoy a summer retreat





Building relationships across cultural lines is no easy task. In fact, in the last four years of living in Haiti off and on we have discovered that building relationships is not a task at all. It’s not something you do in a day and then neatly check off your to-do list. It’s not something you can pour money into or even make happen with the best of intentions.


Building relationships begins by putting in time. Lots of time.


I remember my first days working with the women of The Haitian Bead Project in Savanette. We already had a group of twenty-something women working at our mission base in Pignon. The pastor of the Savanette church, which is also part of our non-profit, begged me to start something for his ladies. So many were struggling to feed their families and send their children to school. My heart was touched and I moved forward with baby steps. I decided I would spend two days a week with the women.


In those first days the women sat in a semi-circle around me. They were cordial as I explained the values of our project and began to teach the process of making paper beads and jewelry. They were attentive but timid.


I longed to be close to them. I tried to interpret their blank faces, search for hope in their eyes. I would pray each day for wisdom, for a window.


Their beads were horrible at first. Bumpy and uneven – much like my language skills. There were many days I asked myself and God if expanding our business was a bad idea.


But little by little their beads have grown smoother. And so has our communication.


This past week something truly extraordinary happened. After two years of planting and watering and waiting and praying  and watering some more, a full garden of flowers bloomed.




For the last several months I’ve been planning to take the women on a little retreat. Our friends, Debbie and Caleb Lucien of Hosean Ministries, had offered the use of their summer camp in Fontaine. The goal: to take the women on an overnight to bond, relax and celebrate the way God has prospered the Haitian Bead Project his year. I invited three friends from the U.S., who volunteer with the project, to help me put on the retreat. Kim McCurry, Paula Peterson and Dana Johnson helped me pray over the retreat and pull together all the details.




The first day we handed out name tags and played some games to get the women interacting. Dana had collected purses from home and we filled them with fun toiletries, hankies, little notebooks. We did a “Gift Exchange” game where the women each got a filled purse. Oh how we laughed! The walls between us started to come down.




The retreat far exceeded our expectations! The women jumped right into the activities. They played Frisbee, hiked, danced, painted nails, did hand massages, made art projects, sang, prayed, studied the Bible, brainstormed new products for the future, ate their fill and didn’t have to cook or do laundry or watch kids.




I found great joy in sharing Bible lessons with them on the topics: “You are Beautiful” and “God Created you an Artist.” My friends, Kim and Paula also shared their stories with the group.




The ladies from Savanette started teaching us Haitian songs and circle games – a good sign that the cultural lines had been crossed. They were eager to share a piece of their own culture.



One afternoon during Free Tine my oldest daughter, Meilani, hung out in one of the rooms with the women. She said the women wanted her to teach them Eglish phrases. Later that night the women boldly and sweetly tried out their phrases on us. Renande said, “I love you, my friend.” Ylnise added, “I will always remember you.” They longed to connect and communicate much like I did those first few months.



Their pastor Mele came to join us on the last day and he, too, commented on how different the group acted. He saw them bubbling with joy.



The retreat concluded with the Haitian women singing a farewell blessing over our team. They hugged us tight and laughed. One woman, Angeline, begged us to come back the next year. Some even had misty eyes for we were all sad to say goodbye after such a mountaintop experience.


There are plenty of days, plenty of relationships in Haiti that may never bloom in this way. I know that’s a reality. Still I am grateful for each of these women who have now welcomed me in as their own.


For more details about our project or to order jewelry, see


Dorina Gilmore is the Director of the Haitian Bead Project. She splits her time living in Pignon, Haiti and Fresno, California. She is a mama to three active girls and married to Ericlee Gilmore, director of Christian Friendship Ministries. Dorina loves distance running and creative writing. She has published three books for children.

Upcoming Fall/Winter 2013 Events


Our new Fall collection 2013

Our Fall/Winter schedule of events is here! We are looking forward to a busy season of sales, including conventions and craft boutiques. We will be adding more events as we go so be sure to check back. Looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new faces soon!



Sunday, September 8th

Gilmore/CFM Haiti Sharing Night

The Bridge Church in the Ground Floor room in the Atrium

3438 E. Ashlan Avenue in Fresno, CA

Friday, October 18th

Short-term Missions Team Sharing Night

The Bridge Church

3438 E. Ashlan Avenue in Fresno, CA

Sunday, October 6th

Trinity Fall Festival

4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

Trinity Community Church

12168 N Willow Ave

Clovis, CA

Saturday-Sunday, October 12-13th

Old Town Clovis Flea Market

Saturday 10:00am-4:00 p.m., Sunday 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Clovis Rodeo Grounds
748 Rodeo Drive
Clovis, CA 93612

Thursday-Saturday, October 17-19

MOMcon: MOPS Convention

Kansas City Convention Center

Kansas City, Missouri

Saturday, November 23

MOPS Merry Little Christmas Boutique

Saturday, Nov. 23

The Bridge Church

3438 E. Ashlan Avenue in Fresno, CA


 Thursday, December 5

Christmas Missions Dessert

Bethany Mennonite Brethren Church

9161 N. Maple Fresno, CA 93720

Summer Jewelry Sale 7/23

Summer Sale 7/23

Come on out this Tuesday the 23rd for an exciting girls fashion show where the Haitian Beads will be showcased! From Clovis Unified School District’s Summer Fun Program, comes a Modeling and Finishing Touches Class. Girls are ages 9-13, from all over Clovis, Fresno, Central and Madera school districts will be involved and modeling our jewelry at Kastner Intermediate School MPR at 11:30. Admission is free!

New Teardrop Earrings!

Our Haitian artisans have created another beautiful product! Pre-order our new Tear Drop style earrings for $10 a pair and bless one of our artists!

Our Haitian artisans have created another beautiful product! Pre-order our new Tear Drop style earrings at $10 a pair and bless one of our artists!

The Haitian Bead Project goes to Kingsburg Farmers Market

Summer Haitian Beads

Summer in the Valley is here! And with summer comes all the fun of our local Farmers Markets, Festivals, and Craft Fairs. We will be featuring The Haitian Beads at many different sales over the summer and we would love to have you come and check us out. There will be fun, food, and crafts for everyone– so bring the whole family!

We will be at the Kingsburg Farmers Market 5- 9 p.m. on May 30, June 13, July 11, and August 8. And stand by:  More dates and information for other events are coming! If you know of an event that we should be at this summer, or if you are interested in volunteering to help sell at an event, please contact us by email: look forward to seeing you in the next couple of months!

Host your own Haitian Bead Project event with a Party Box

Order a party box and host your own Open House, feature jewelry at your boutique or church event, or use the jewelry as a fundraiser.
Order a party box and host your own Open House, feature jewelry at your boutique or church event, or use the jewelry as a fundraiser.


Why host a party?

Hosting a bead party is a great way to get involved in the Bead Project! You can help support our artists and do it in a fun and creative way. As a thank you to all those hosting, we would like to offer you 20% off your own purchases.


What comes in a bead party box?

Our party boxes contain a tally sheet for sales, postcards to hand out at the party or event, and a letter containing some further instructions for you to help your party go smoothly. We put different colors and types of jewelry in the box so you receive a variety. On average we put in 20 of each of the following: long necklaces, short necklaces, classic bracelets, and earrings. We can also include at your request key chains, lanyards, friendship bracelets, beaded scarves and headbands, or some of our home products like napkin rings or fan pulls. This may change based on our availability of a product. You can request the amounts and colors of each item that you want for your party, customizing it to your preferences.


*Please note that no two items are exactly the same, and the jewelry contains more than one color due to the unique cardboard beads.


What is the job of the host/hostess?



-Decide on your venue and setting for the party. e.g. at home, church, an office, even a table at lunch.

-Order the jewelry (Remember to leave time for shipping)

-Decide what kind of a party you want. Do you want to serve food? Do you want to keep it casual?

-Create an invitation to help get people excited about your party. You want them to know you thought of them specifically for this event. -Then invite people!

-Come up with a fun way to put your jewelry on display. The jewelry is very vibrant so the set-up can be simple. Allow the jewelry to speak for itself. (This is an easy way to be creative, so feel free to make it your own!) Check out our Facebook page at The Haitian Bead Project for photos of how others have displayed the jewelry at parties or open houses.



-Set up your display. Create the atmosphere with music, candles or keep it simple for quick shopping.

-Make sure to mark the tally sheet as you sell items so the profits get back to each artist.

- Have fun!


-Box up leftover jewelry to ship back, and send it with the inventory sheet back to us in Fresno, California.

-Cash and Cashiers checks are accepted. If you would like to accept personal checks and then charge the full amount to your credit card or send your own check that is also acceptable.


Tips and ideas for set up:

- Try sending invitations through an e- invitation site.

-Encourage people to try on jewelry and have a mirror close by for them.

- Long and short necklaces can sometimes be difficult to tell apart. A long necklace can wrap twice around your neck.

-Take pictures of your display and send them to us or post them on Facebook so we can share your creativity with others.


Any questions? Feel free to contact us! (559) 908-0004 or


This fun, simple display was used by volunteer Naomi McGaughey at her Open House.

Spring 2013 Jewelry Events

serene - turquoise with poppy red & white

Spring 2013 Events:

Friday, April 5th

Wood Elementary Carnival

2:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

700 Teague Ave, Clovis, CA 93619

Saturday, April 20th

VASA school Multicultural Fair

12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

Arte Americas

Bring your kids to this event with carnival games, food & crafts featured from many different cultures!

Sunday, April 21st

Bead Project Volunteer Dessert

2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

4711 N. Harrison Ave, Fresno CA 93704

If you have served with us or are interested in getting involved we will be going over the goals and needs of the Bead Project!

Saturday, April 27th

“Taste of Friendship”

The Bridge Church

3438 E. Ashlan Ave Fresno

Saturday, May 4th

    Craftopia Mother’s day Craft Fair

10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Van Ness & Shaw

Come find that perfect gift for Mom!

Sunday, May 5th

    Family Community Church in Fresno

2434 E. Nees Ave, Fresno, CA 93720

8:30 a.m. -noon

Come hear Dorina speak about the project and purchase beads in between services!


The Bridge Evangelical Free Church

3438 E. Ashlan


Come stop by our table out on the plaza!

Saturday, May 11

Flatlander’s Craft Fair

Madera Ranchos

Join us for a parade and shopping!

May 17-18

California Classic Expo

Terrio Fitness

741 E. Barstow Ave., Fresno, CA 93710

3-7 p.m. Thursday & Friday


Valentine jewelry sale: Saturday, Feb. 9 in Fresno


Looking for a unique gift for the love in your life? Beautiful handcrafted Haitian beaded jewelry will make your wife, girlfriend, mother, grandma, lover feel special while you also show love to a family in Haiti. Come check out our new Valentine stash this SATURDAY, February 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Crossfit Combat Fitness gym in Fresno inside the Fresno Indoor Soccer arena on the NW corner of Shaw and Cedar. This sale will be part of the Valentine Couples’ Challenge Crossfit event raising money for Haiti.