When I was at the Type-A Conference last month, I spoke with some bloggers at the Mom Market who worked with Heart of Haiti, a partnership of Macy’s and Full Circle Exchange that provides artisans from earthquake-ravaged Haiti with sustainable work crafting decorative pieces for sale in the U.S. I agreed to review a piece from the collection, which was shipped to me shortly after my return home from the conference.
It was kind of funny when the package arrived. It was a box almost big enough to hold an Easy Bake Oven, but digging through the shredded paper packing materials had me thinking I was being pranked, that there was nothing inside. When I finally struck something solid, I found the two papier mache bowls . The larger gold one is about the size of one of those fake plastic coconut cups you buy to serve drinks in at a party, and the smaller black one can nest inside of it.
The bowls are hand-wipe only, so they are meant to be purely decorative. I’d initially thought they could be used as candy dishes, but I’m afraid that they wouldn’t wear well with that type of use. They might be best used to hold potpourri or decorative stones, or remain empty as a coffee table piece.
The tag that came with the bowls reads as follows:
Heart of Haiti
These exquisite, hand-crafted items are brought to you through a unique program that brings trade to Haiti and enables Haitian artisans to create and share their work. Haiti is a country often known for its difficulties but one look at these crafts shows the beauty, pride and passion of their unique culture. This entire collection was designed and made by hand in Haiti. The sale of these goods provides opportunity and income for artisans and their families.
Certificate of Authenticity
This product, made in Haiti by a master artisan, represents the heart and soul of its people. Expressive artistry linking history and culture, coupled with excellent Haitian workmanship, is passed down through generations for centuries.
Handmade in Haiti
I confess that I’m not usually the type to buy decorative items, but these are pretty, and I know they actually mean something, so maybe I’ll get inspired enough to finally clean off the mantle over the fireplace and move things around that haven’t been touched in 10 years.
More about Heart of Haiti:
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. Heart of Haiti 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 8,000 people in the country. Sharing a “gift that gives back” is a great way to raise awareness and celebrate artistry and regrowth. Heart of Haiti products are available exclusively on www.Macys.com/Haiti. To stay up-to-date follow @HeartofHaiti on Twitter or like our Facebook page http://facebook.com/HeartofHaiti.