The Original Canadian Handmade
Coconut Button Scarves with a Cause
Handmade For You Love Lu is owned and operated by a young local mother of three, Laura Batista (nickname: Lu). Living in Southwestern Ontario with very cold winters, and not content with the typical unstylish winter accessories, Lu set out to design an original pattern for a unique scarf attached with coconut buttons to keep herself warm. Laura hadn’t planned to start a business, rather it happened by chance. Initially she sold the scarves to fund her first mission’s trip to Cuba. She needed to raise a certain amount of money in a matter of months to attend the missions trip. So, she posted a photo of herself on Facebook wearing her newly designed scarf, and the orders came pouring in. She raised double what she was hoping for, and was able to pay for a dear friend to come along on the missions trip as well. As she realized that her scarves were growing rapidly in popularity, she decided to continue with the project the following year. And from there, her business was born. Since 2012, she has led several humanitarian projects in Cuba with a percentage of proceeds from sales.
In spring 2014 Lu realized that she needed some help to keep up with the demand for her products. She now has 8 local “independent crochet artists” working with her to help make the scarves & hats by hand. Even with the help, during the peak holiday season the Handmade For You Love Lu team is having a hard time keeping up with the demand.
Laura (Lu) Batista
Owner & Operator
Passionate about her business and craft – Lu puts endless hours of love into her small business. Designer of the ORIGINAL coconut button scarves. Lu also works part-time as a graphic designer & mentor in the IT Research Department at a local college. –Mother of 3-
Allison has been crocheting for 11 years and is an expert with a crochet hook. She sees crocheting as a “tip of the hat” to her grandmother, who was an avid crocheter. She makes all Love Lu products but is our turban headband & ombré scarves specialist. -Mother of 4-
Independent CrocheterJayne-Ann is our go-to crocheter when we need lots of stock made in a short amount of time. She can crochet up a storm! When not making Love Lu product, she creates for a charity in London, which distributes hats, mitts and scarves for homeless teens. Jane-Ann also works full-time at a hospital. -Mother of 3-
Jen is our hats girl. She makes our slouch hats and toques in all sizes. She is fantastic at crocheting and has designed several patterns of her own. We are very happy to have Jen on our team. -Mother of 3-
Independent CrocheterCheryl is our pom-pom hats girl and is also refining a few new patterns to perfection! What she loves about crocheting: “Planning a project, watching it take shape, and seeing the end product. It’s very satisfying, and a relaxing hobby.” -Mother of 3-
Independent CrocheterSarah loves to crochet on the go. What she says about crocheting “My kids love sports and dance so it’s a great to have something to keep me entertained while they get their dance on!” -Mother of 2-
Independent CrocheterBrit is a master at crocheting hats, in all sizes and patterns. Here is what she says about crochet, “Crochet is my way of expressing my creativity – a true work of art, each and every piece. A way of unwinding after a hectic day, I love this hobby!” -Mother of 2-
Independent CrocheterDawn is an enthusiastic crocheter and knitter with over 30 years of practice, and still learning new skills in the fibre arts. Dawn says: “When I am in a yarn shop, I am like a kid in a candy store; I am just mesmerized by the colours and textures. I love to visit yarn shops in other places and I always find a “souvenir” to bring home.” -Mother of 1-
Independent CrocheterAnn is our newest crocheter, but is not new to the art of crocheting. She has been a crafter for many years, creating gifts for friends and family. She is busy working on our classic soft slouch hats, to create stock for next fall/winter. -Mother of 1 fur baby-
Lu's Innovative Approach
The Handmade For You Love Lu innovative approach is two-fold. Lu currently operates her small business online and exhibits at local trade-shows/craft sales throughout the winter season. What makes her business unique is that all products are handmade by local mothers. There is a huge market trend geared toward supporting local WAHM (work at home mothers) and purchasing online. When Lu started her business she was a single mother. As her business grows, she desires to reach out to hire woman in tough situations, to provide an income and empowerment for them.
The second aspect that makes Handmade For You Love Lu unique is that 15% of proceeds go to a great cause! On one of her missions’ trips to Cuba, Lu met her husband Manuel, who now lives here with her in Canada. Together their family continues to lead a new set of projects in Cuba each year, to help better life for those in need. Some of the projects they have led include: sending cymbals down to a small home church, gifts for children in orphanages, baby supplies for a group of new mothers, a rebuild of part of a home destroyed in hurricane Sandy and a completely new build of a brick home on a small farm for a very special family. Read more about her mission work here.
The most exciting recent development
With the help of “The Cube” staff at Lambton College, Lu is starting the process of creating a plan to incorporate as a social enterprise and applying for various funding opportunities to help with expansion. She is also in the process of seeking out a Canadian manufacturer for her yarn supplies and is looking for retail distributors. Lu’s dream is to one day obtain a space that would become a hub where local mothers could learn to crochet for work, as well as learn financial literacy and various other counselling projects to empower them and their families!