For those of you living in the Northeast, this winter was a harsh one. A thorough thaw is in order, and we hope the opening of our Spring Sale on April 11 is a harbinger of warmer days to come. We are proud of this season's offerings, and we're inspired by the people and organizations behind their creation. Here's a brief rundown of the four artisan groups we worked with for the Spring Sale:
The Victorious Bone Craft Group was found by three local men in the Kibera Village of Kenya in 2006. Their mission was multi-faceted: to provide work for the young people of Kibera, to clean up the accumulating and dangerous waste produced by the local slaughterhouses, and to curb the foreign appetite for ivory. The result is nothing short of incredible. Today, Bone Craft provides work for more than 40 Kibera villagers and produces astonishingly beautiful jewelry from the bones left in heaps around Kibera. To learn more about Bone Craft and Plume's upcoming partnership wit the group, check out our blog's Artisan In Focus on the first day of the Spring Sale, April 11.
Sasa Designs by the Deaf came about to address an alarming trend in Kenyan society: 85% of deaf people are unemployed. In 2011, the organization, which we profiled in March, began artisan training for deaf women in Kenya. Today, Sasa provides living wages for 14 artisans, not to mention some incredible jewelry, which we are proud to offer this Spring.
Courtney and Mauricio, co-founders of Chiapas Bazaar, travel extensively through the rural Mexican state of Chiapas looking for talented artisans. They purchase pieces at fair prices and work hard to foster long-term, sustainable relationships with the artisans. For Plume's sale, Chiapas has provided cotton blouses made on a loom and embroidered by hand by a group of women who live in the highlands of southern Mexico.
Sabahar provides work to more than 120 people in Ethiopia. The organization pays guaranteed salaries of 250% the industry standard to produce a range of beautiful textiles. The scarves and towels they have provided for Plume are exquisitely woven using traditional techniques and died with plants and herbs found locally in Ethiopia.
For our Summer 2014 sale, we were lucky to come across Mary Joan and her partner Dwiyani who operate Moos in Java. They provide work for 50 women who specialize in traditional weaving techniques passed down through generations. The bags they have created for Plume in 2015 are pain-stakingly woven from palm leaf and are a testament to doing things the "old way."
In the coming month, we'll be publishing "Artisan In Focus" posts on all of our Spring vendors. In the meantime, to learn more about any of these organizations or the Spring Sale, please feel free to contact us as at firstname.lastname@example.org