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The Story

 

Bucket Bracelets is the brain child and dream-come-true of Ivan Cerquera. Ivan immigrated to the United States in 2003. Upon arrival, he found work in the landscaping industry while simultaneously setting out to achieve his primary goal of learning the English language. With only a bike for transportation, Ivan would pedal through the streets with his groceries and at times ride up to twenty-five minutes just to visit the library and use the internet.
After learning English, Ivan began his university studies in Ohio and gained experience in a number of different fields – from selling insurance to managing restaurants and food trucks to working in international sales. While Ivan carved out a good life for himself in the United States, he couldn't help but think about the lack of jobs available to people in his native Colombia, particularly for the elderly and disabled. The issue hit particularly close to home for him after watching his good friend, Mauricio, lose mobility due to a debilitating disease and seeing him struggle to find employment. Ivan knew he wanted to do something about this need, but what?

 

New York Bracelets

 

Then in 2015 Ivan started asking himself an important question. “What are you doing with your life?” He realized he didn't want to just pass through life. He wanted to live his dreams and help others do the same.
Ivan looked at his own bucket list and realized that he wanted to make a change in his life. For him, it wasn't enough to have dreams that he wanted to accomplish – he wanted those dreams to have a deeper meaning and purpose.
One of Ivan's passions was travel. On each trip, he would buy a bracelet as a souvenir. Despite the growing number of bracelets on his wrist, Ivan discovered that there was still more space for more bracelets, and thus, for more adventures.
In time, the idea for Bucket Bracelets took shape. For Ivan it was a way of combining all of the things that he loved most – travel, bracelets, stepping out of one's comfort zone, motivating others and helping those in need.

 

Ivan says, “The journey to create Bucket Bracelets has not been easy. I didn't know anything about this industry when I started. From how to make bracelets, to what materials to use, to import regulations, to how to build a website -- I've had to learn it all. I've struggled and made lots of mistakes along the way, but I've learned from every one of them and that's what is most important.”
Currently, four women are employed in Colombia weaving the colorful bracelets that inspire others to live their dreams. They are earning an income that allows them to support their families, something which was only a dream before Bucket Bracelets. Ivan hopes that as Bucket Bracelets grows he will be able to employ more people, both in Colombia and the United States, granting opportunities where previously there were none and making more dreams come true.
Ivan believes in giving back and helping those in need both abroad and here at home – which is why a portion of the profits from every sale will be donated to charities throughout the United States.
Do you have a dream?
Whatever it is, Ivan wants you to know that you can achieve it by hard work, laser focus, and passion. All you have to do is to take the risk.
What are you waiting for?
Hand Made Bracelets