Today’s tale in Intertwined's Unwrapping the Stories: 12 Days of Christmas series is about our whimsical Moroccan wool pompom pillows. They’ve been a best-seller, but little did we know that these cozy accessories would soon serve as a small glimmer of hope in the wake of a devastating earthquake.
On September 8, 2023, at around 11:11 p.m., a seismic force with a magnitude of at least 6.8 shook the High Atlas Mountains and surrounding areas near Marrakesh, leaving destruction in its wake. Fragile mud-brick homes, lacking proper foundations, crumbled under the force, and villages were reduced to rubble. The earthquake, the deadliest in Morocco since 1960, claimed the lives of 2,960 people, injured 5,674, and left countless others without homes.
This is a village that we saw this summer in the High Atlas Mountains. The news about the earthquake indicated that many villages like this one were severely damaged.
In the midst of this tragedy, our hearts reached out to our Moroccan partners, especially Soufiane, our leather artisan and main contact in the region. As the news unfolded, we learned that his family and workers were safe, but his neighbor's home and his workshop suffered damage. The status of the wool weavers in the High Atlas Mountains remained uncertain, leaving us anxious for their well-being.
Soufiane and his family spent several nights in this parking lot, fearing that aftershocks may cause structural failure of their house.
About a week later, Soufiane's update brought a mixture of relief and concern. The wool weavers were physically unharmed, but the earthquake had left them in desperate need of work. Aware of the impending decline in tourism, a significant source of income for Morocco, they expressed hope that our commitment to their craft would continue.
Intertwined was founded with a mission – to support artisans in Morocco and other countries by providing them with work and orders. Our connection with these talented individuals goes beyond commerce; it's a partnership that weaves together stories of hope and resilience.
It is with immense gratitude and pride that we share this story with you, our incredible customers. Your unwavering support allows us to not only sustain the livelihoods of artisans but also to contribute to the rebuilding of communities affected by unforeseen calamities.
Soufiane and the artisans in the High Atlas Mountains are determined to rebuild their lives. By continuing to order wool products and leather bags, we can contribute to their journey of recovery. Each purchase becomes a beacon of hope, a reminder that even in the face of adversity, communities can come together and emerge stronger.
So, as the holiday season approaches, we invite you to unwrap more than just gifts. Unwrap stories of triumph and perseverance. Choose Intertwined pompom pillows, not just as beautiful additions to your home, but as tokens of solidarity with those who have faced unimaginable challenges. Together, we can make a difference, one pompom pillow at a time.