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Meet Our Team

  /  Meet Our Team
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Dana Kandalaft

Founder

Never did I think Tight Knit Syria would be where it is today.

I visited an internally displaced persons’ camp (IDP) in Northern Syria in 2013 after going through a period of uncertainty and hopelessness. Growing up, Syria was where I spent my summers with my family, but, in my adulthood, it became the forefront of war and chaos. I was overwhelmed with the news coverage I was seeing in Canada. All of a sudden, I felt paralyzed and disconnected from a place my family calls home.

So in my last year of university, I received the opportunity to visit Southern Turkey and Northern Syria. While there, a vibrant, enthusiastic girl named Sebra spotted my knitted purse and revealed to me the creative passion that she and the women in the camp had for kneedlework. Not only was it clear how I could help (they had run out of yarn), but I also understood how I could get other Canadians involved.

Since then, we’ve grown from a non-profit who donated yarn in their first year to a fully established e-commerce marketplace in which international consumers and retailers can purchase carefully, handcrafted products that showcase Syrian culture and further empower these women.

We’ve also established relationships in 10+ countries; partnered with the UNCHR’s Made51, Artisan & Fox, and Ryerson’s Social Venture Zone; ran training workshops and introduced an educational program to our artisans; created a circular economy around sustainably made goods; and established full control over product design from sourcing fabric to its final stitch.

Tight Knit Syria has proven to me that, when communities come together, hopelessness turns into empowerment, barriers turn into bridges, and the impossible becomes possible.

Thank you for coming on this journey. We can’t wait to see where else we go.

— D

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