Social enterprise MANAVA empowers women rising above poverty and economic hardship. Artisans can work together in a safe and supportive workshop or may opt to work from home, allowing them to also take care of their children. With MANAVA’s support, family incomes have increased by 95 percent; beforehand, the average income was approximately $2.50 per day. Furthermore, MANAVA partners with a Women’s Resource Center to provide a life skills program.

MANAVA places an emphasis on eco-conscious practices and sustainable harvests, limiting what is reaped to promote future growth; the raw materials are organic as well as pesticide- and herbicide-free. Women practice a time-intensive rattan weaving process, an ancient Cambodian tradition dating back more than 1,000 years. They draw inspiration from Cambodian Kbach symbols, which are traditionally used in temple carvings and pottery.

The artisans use pdau, a rattan palm material that forms the base of each product, and la paek, a willow grass that provides stability. Both the rattan and willow grass are fast-growing and located throughout Cambodia. Once harvested, rattan and willow grass materials are set in the sun to dry. The women then clean each fiber, carefully peeling the outside layer. The willow is later dyed with non-toxic powder dyes made from plants and flowers, and the grasses are woven together. MANAVA’s team carefully tests and inspects each piece to ensure it is of the highest quality before sharing it with a larger marketplace.