A young. girl is sitting in a spring themed setting with a handcrafted bolga basket.

A Basket Filled with Goodness: The Bolga Basket Story

Every now and again there are treasures that are not only beautiful in their own right, but also make the world more beautiful. This is most certainly the case with our beloved Bolga Baskets. When you look at our collection of Bolga baskets, it is easy to be smitten with their graceful shape, leather handle, gorgeous colors, and beautiful craftsmanship. But woven within each strand of elephant grass is an enriching story about a non-profit company that’s working to help create permanent financial independence for artisans and their communities. This company, Ten by Three, is redefining the fundamentals of fair-trade and making such a profound impact that they’ve been recognized by the United Nations for their enduring work to end poverty. The ripple effect that starts with the purchase of a single Ten by Three product expands to transform entire communities planting seeds of hope the future.

A bolga basket sits filled with easter goodies.

The Origin of Ten by Three

The story of Ten by Three began in 2002 when founder Theresa Carrington experienced a particularly difficult time in her life. She stored the caring notes she received from loved ones in her Bolga basket, which she called her ‘blessing basket,’ and turned to this basket for daily reinforcement. Theresa soon began talking to groups of women and sharing motivation and inspiration. She used her blessing basket as a prop and at every gathering people wanted to have their own blessing basket. This gave her an idea and soon Theresa looked for a way to curate a connection between the people making the baskets and the recipient. And even more importantly, she pursued a way for these makers to be paid fairly and not lose the majority of their profit to a middleman. Although finding the right path to these artisans took over a year, Theresa persevered and The Blessing Basket Project® vision became a reality launching a remarkable endeavor that proves how one person can truly change the world.

A bolga basket sits filled with goodies.

The Prosperity Wages Model- Beyond Fair Trade

In 2018, the company renamed itself Ten by Three based on the innovative prosperity wages formula they’ve created. When Ten by Three purchases 10 products a month from an artisan over the course of a few years, the artisans are able to fund 3 businesses of their own and reach a sustainable end to poverty. This means that the artisans directly grow the economy and help lift their neighbors and fellow artists up and become entrepreneurs while doing this. Also, wages paid to the artisans at Ten by Three are often 2 and a half times average fair trade wages, and in some countries up to six times as much. Prosperity Wages are paid to the artisan in their home village so they never have to search for a market. Without a middle man, the artisans are completely in control of their working conditions and creative process. Ten by Three has also built schools and wells and provided school supplies and medical equipment allowing for families and communities to thrive and prosper.

Ten by Three bolga basket makers.

The People Behind the Baskets

When you receive your Bolga Basket, you will find an artisan card attached that tells about the person who made your specific basket. It is signed and has a picture of the artist. For most of the artisans, it is the first time in their life they have ever had their picture taken. You can then go to the Ten by Three website and look up your artisan by their name and your basket’s id number. You will learn how their prosperity wages have helped them and their family. For example, Abane who has used their wages to pay for their children’s school fees, built an extra room onto their house, and purchased health insurance. This connection to a single maker is one of the strands that makes buying these baskets feel so regenerative and empowering.

There are endless stories about how this company has enriched the lives of the people who create for them. For example, a school for girls of 20 students who met under a tree was transformed into a thriving school for 120 girls happily studying inside a classroom built with the support of Ten by Three. And their parents can pay for their school fees and uniforms thanks to purchases of Ten by Three products.

A crafted bolga basket sits filled with goodies.

The Bella Luna Bolga Story

At Bella Luna Toys, our collection of Bolga Baskets made in Ghana have long been bestsellers and customer favorites. In fact, we love them so much we have developed our own exclusive line of Bella Luna Bolga baskets. The three baskets we have designed as Bella Luna exclusives mean we are directly contributing to the success of this company and the artists who create these amazing baskets. Using our custom palette, we designed a blue and green basket and a rose and coral basket and a natural basket. And we couldn’t be more proud to not only add such exquisite baskets to our line but to know that with every basket sold we are filling the world with a bit more hope, beauty, and financial freedom.


From all of us at the Bella Luna Toys Team, we hope you have many days filled with crafts, love, and fresh cups of tea! Tag us in your Bolga Basket adventures @bellalunatoys for a chance to be featured!

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