The Mae Movement, founded by Mother-Daugher duo Dee and Haley Cairo, is more than just a company that sells bracelets. “Mae” is the daughter Haley’s middle name and the “Movement” part was added, because they both hope to create and inspire personal movements.
“I wanted to work with people and inspire them to do their own thing,” explained Haley, “I always have girls who write to me about their life goals.”
Proceeds from the beautiful bracelets go to the foundation Friends of Maiti Nepal, which aims to prevent trafficking of women and children. In addition, Mae Movement has helped various other charities including Zoe House International, The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, and The American Lung Association.
The Movement started when Dee and Haley were on a college visit in Florida. They brought a few of the intricately, beaded bracelets as presents home to their friends and family. Everyone loved them, and the ladies went back and bought more. The bonus is that the bracelets are hand-crafted by women in Nepal, who normally would be sold into human trafficking if it weren’t for the opportunity to create these bracelets for a living.
As Dee explained, the company “grew organically.” Haley added that both she and her mother have worked with women in non-profits before. Charity and connecting to women in business is key for them.
“I’ve mentored women and girls,” said Dee, “I have a heart for them. The core of both of us is we both want to make a measureable contribution.”
Currently, hundreds of women in the Katmandu Valley are employed by the bracelet industry, which allows them to create the product from the safety and privacy of their homes. Living in Nepal, these women face dire challenges including malnutrition, illiteracy, disease, and human trafficking.
“Our mission is to have a mission to Nepal one day,” said Haley, “We think of the women every time we wear the bracelets. Going over there would be amazing!”
Their bracelet collections ($13 per bracelet and $36 per set) are inspired by the colors of the beads that the women from Nepal put together. So the current Caribbean Collection, was derived from Haley’s recent cabin fever due to the gloomy winter weather. She explained that often their themes relate to nature. More recently Haley has taken this a step further by pairing their bracelet collections with current fashion trends. The duo hopes to make this movement turn into an entire brand with a graphic t-shirt line, different jewelry, and the continuous promotion of health, charity, and nutrition.
Haley, who went to art school, is the creative outlet within the company, while Dee is more of the big picture thinker. Haley designs the website, takes pictures, and uses colors and themes that relate to her upbringing at the beaches near Wilmington, Delaware. Dee explained that the mountain on their website represents the challenges that arise in life that everyone has to overcome at some point.
Haley has also dealt with weight and anxiety issues growing up, which she writes about in a blog on their website. Judging from the fact that 10,000 to 15,000 women are sold into slavery every year and that these two have worked to help hundreds of women so far, it seems Haley and Dee have done more than just overcome a mountain with the Mae Movement.