Mailing address:

951 Mariners Island Blvd.

Suite 240

San Mateo, CA 94404


Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm PT



Following the belief that “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure” Elise Lion and Jennifer Morelatto knew it was possible to transform discarded old materials into gorgeous new accessories. What began as a “chance” meeting between two women, Smateria has grown into a self-financed social enterprise. All Smateria artisans are contracted, in accordance with International Labour Law that includes 1 month paid annual leave, paid maternity leave, & health insurance. They train exclusively local women and then entrust them with the work, and their Cambodian managers who in past businesses were formerly exploited workers without rights, now have a brighter future as well. Eighty percent of the artisans are young women who are encouraged to bring their children to work, where Smateria pays for child-care. Smateria’s pre-school program began running in November 2011, with 2 teachers. Training undertaken with Garment Industry Productivity Center (GIPC), a local project run by USAID, has taught the staff efficient work methods to improve performance. Smateria outsources part of their work to family members of their staff, by financing the sewing machines (which are repaid to Smateria monthly, with no interest) and offer a free training to the tailors and their families. Smateria currently employs 70 permanent staff, and outsources to around 15 families. They also run 5 shops in Cambodia.

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