I had an amazing time at Type A Parent Conference and am coming back with some new knowledge, that I will share later, and crafty ideas and products that I just had to go ahead and share some with you. I spoke with Danica of Everywhere Society about Heart of Haiti and when I bought an awesome handmade beaded bracelet, we began to discuss the Heart of Haiti project they were working on. When I mentioned that my husband is a welder and had just returned recently from Honduras and saw such skill, and yet such need, we thought it would be great to hear his perspective of the metal work created by the artisans in Haiti.
Here is a little more information about the program, Macy’s sells the items on their website. (Disclosure: We received a free item to review and tell you about.)
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and despite the devastating earthquake, people there are filled with hope and a desire to improve their lives through employment. The Heart of Haiti initiative provides artists with an opportunity to make a living feed their families and pay their children’s school fees. Already, The Heart of Haiti collection has led to employment of 750 artists in Haiti providing financial benefits for an estimated 5,000 people in the country.
The collection features more than 40 home decor items including quilts, metalwork, ceramics, and paintings. The craftsmanship and technique behind these works of art, ranging from papier-mâché vases to hand cut metal frames & wall hangings, is truly remarkable. The collection is made almost entirely from recycled and sustainable items such as old cement bags, cardboard, oil drums & local gommier wood. Sharing a “gift that gives back” is a great way to raise awareness and celebrate artistry and regrowth.
The frame we got was similar to this ornate metal frame and costs around $45
One of the things we love about this process is the Meet the Artists portion of the Macy’s Heart of Haiti page and watch the video of their craftmanship here (I shared the video on my facebook page yesterday).
Heart of Haiti is a “Trade, Not Aid” initiative launched by artist and social entrepreneur, Willa Shalit, The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and Macy’s. “Trade not aid” is a powerful way to create sustainable work and much needed financial opportunities.
They are a proud group that lost so much after the devastating earthquakes that we watched in shock from our comfy homes. They are still rebuilding and dealing with loss. This is a powerful way to support them.
The initiative allows opportunities for artists to work with US designers, helping strengthen international artisan relationships and making their products viable in the US market. The Heart of Haiti campaign pays in excess of fair wage to the talented artisans who create the product, giving them the dignity of work and economic self-determination.