The Friendsheep Story
Friendsheep was created by Valeria Isaacs, a zero waste entrepreneur, disability advocate, mother, wife, nature lover, and former biologist. Always passionate about ecology and sustainable living, her pursuit of those passions was interrupted when a spinal cord injury left her quadriplegic at age 22. During her recovery, Valeria has obtained a master’s degree in molecular biology, worked in contemporary art, and enjoyed living life at its fullest.
In late 2015, she decided to give new meaning to her life by founding Friendsheep, with the aim of providing high quality, eco-friendly products that respect animals and the environment while also providing work and purpose to women and disabled artisans in underprivileged communities of Nepal.
After getting things started, she quickly enrolled her husband Alessandro and just a few months later, in early 2016 Valeria and Alessandro were blessed with the most unexpected and extraordinary surprise: a twin pregnancy! Extremely rare event in the medical world, Valeria was the fifth known case of quadriplegic woman to give birth to twins (and only the second one with identical twins!).
In summer 2016, at 29 weeks, Trent and Damon came into their lives with an emergency c-section due to rare twin to twin transfusion syndrome. Their birth and the following difficult months in the NICU reinforced Valeria's vision of Friendsheep as a tool for equality and social justice.
As a mother and disabled woman herself, she holds a special place in her heart for every underprivileged woman that strives every day for a better life for herself and her family.
Over the years, Valeria and Alessandro have grown Friendsheep from a small operation on the dining room table in their house in California, into their garage, and into bigger and more spacious warehouses with every year that’s gone by - all while raising little Trent and Damon into two healthy, kind, and eco-conscious kids.
Friendsheep now provides fair wages to hundreds of people in Nepal, and our Nepali friends have become part of our family, just like our employees here in the US. Our talented needle felters, ball makers, screen printers, warehouse managers, bag makers, are all equally important to our success and all contribute their loving work to everything we send out to our customers. It is a wonderful experience to have had the chance to expand our family across different continents, and we will treasure it forever.