Social Enterprise Project Jordan or “SEP” was founded in 2013 to bring dignity through work to female Palestinian refugees living in “Gaza” Camp in Jerash, Jordan.
Roberta Ventura, the Founder of SEP shares, “When you have been a refugee for 50 years, you stop dreaming, you stop hoping, you stop planning.” SEP aims to empower Palestinian refugees to believe they too can dream and express themselves through creative means.
SEP builds off of Palestinian heritage and the long tradition of cross-stitch embroidery (Tatreez). Roberta and the artisans collaborate to create beautiful, high-quality products with a modern design spin. SEP’s embroidered products range from home and fashion accessories, including shawls, tablecloths, bags, towels and pouches.
SEP goes beyond just paying their artisans above market rates for their products. They also invest in the artisans by providing skills and techniques training classes at the SEP-Tamari Academy, providing English language instruction for the children of the artisans, as well as general economic stability for less fortunate artisans employed by SEP.
Each SEP piece is hand stitched and assembled locally in Jordan. Roberta shares the construction of each piece and creates an avenue of mutual respect where customers can appreciate and value the time and skill required to produce such labor-intensive products. The SEP artisans, through the sales of their work, are empowered through increased professional, personal and economic stability.
You can find SEP products in their online store and boutiques across Europe and the Middle East. This week SEP is excited to launch their first boutique at the Landmark Hotel in Amman, Jordan. The Landmark will also feature embroidery artwork created by SEP artisans in a few select rooms at the hotel. SEP’s Amman store officially opens this week, October 26th at the Landmark Hotel.