GAIA creations are handmade by resettled refugee women in Dallas using vintage, artisan-made, & sustainable materials. GAIA’s mission is to empower marginalized women through employment and dedication to their long-term success in local communities.
Bothina, along with her husband and two children, escaped war-torn Syria in 2013. After two years of losing loved ones to the violence and fearful for their own lives, they made the difficult decision to leave their home in one day. With the few belongings they could carry, the family traveled for days, spending time in a refugee camp before finally reaching neighboring Jordan. Traumatized and unsure of what to do next, they found asylum in Jordan, but were unable to find work. They were eventually granted refugee status and began the extensive vetting process to become resettled in the U.S. Finally, in December of 2015, Bothina and her family arrived to Dallas where they joined her in-laws and set out to rebuild their lives and begin anew.
Born in Tunisia, Latifa arrived to the U.S. as a refugee from her husband's native country of Iraq in 2010. She was a seamstress for one of the largest clothing manufacturers in Jordan, where she lived nine years prior to moving to the U.S. Latifa loves to sew, but she lives to cook! Latifa dreams of someday opening her own daycare or even her own clothing shop selling the traditional prayer dresses she used to sew back in Jordan.
Huda and her husband left Syria in late 2012, fleeing the growing violence to seek medical treatment for her husband. They found a safe haven in Jordan, where they only expected to stay temporarily for a month or two. However, shortly after their arrival, their home in Syria was destroyed and the conflict had worsened, so they were forced to stay in Jordan. Huda was joyfully reunited with her son, daughter-in-law Bothina, and two grandchildren in Jordan several months later, and finally were resettled together in the U.S. in late 2015.
In 1997, Feza escaped the devastation of her community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and took shelter in refugee camps in both Tanzania and Zambia. She boarded a plane to the U.S. with her husband and three children in 2012, ready to start a new, peaceful life. In addition to her husband and children, Feza also cares for her disabled sister-in-law. Her greatest hope is that her children receive an education.
Maria, a Burmese refugee, arrived in the United States in 2009 after spending 13 years in a refugee camp with her husband and three young children. She covers her modest living room walls with pictures of her growing boys, who have all inherited her hilariously dry sense of humor.
Maria and Catherin are good friends and their children play together often. When the whole gang gets together, mischief inevitably ensues, reminding us of the beautiful universality of children at play.
Catherin was the first refugee woman to join the GAIA family. She is a Burmese refugee who arrived in Dallas in 2009 with her young children after spending over 10 years in a refugee camp in Thailand. Not long after arriving, Catherin lost her husband to liver disease. She is the sole provider for her three incredibly bright children, who know every word to every song on the radio, and who will add dance moves to their singing if given proper floorspace. Their constant laugher and radiant smiles are a testament to their mother's unwavering spirit.