Tell us a bit about Haiti and your heart for Haiti ~Well, I fell in love with this Haiti in 2010 and have been hooked since. Something about this place just draws you in; the chaotic beauty that is Haiti is addicting. We are constantly learning so much about ourselves, faith, and life in general from this place and the incredible people we get to work with. Haiti always seems to get the short end of the stick, it is always misrepresented and disrespected. It is a goal of ours to try to change this little by little, to show people the beautiful country and culture that we have come to know.
How did Haiti Design Co-op begin ~The past two years I had been running Heartline Ministries' artisan program, Haitian Creations. The program, which started out as a small women's sewing class, had blossomed into a full out artisan program and social business employing over 60 artisans. Growth was exciting and it became clear it was time for a transition, the program had outgrown its non-profit, ministry beginnings and was ready to stand on its own. So in December, myself, my husband Josh, and our incredible business partner Emma, founded Haiti Design Co-op. This is our artisan production co-op based in Port-au-Prince. We know first hand the vital importance of job creation in this place, as well as the importance of skill training and marketable design.
Our heart for this new phase is the same as before, to keep families together through job creation; to train, to create opportunities for growth, to prevent orphans through consistent employment, and to represent all the good that is in Haiti.
In a few words describe the artisans you work with ~
tenacious, talented, patient
What are you most excited about? ~I am so excited to see where we will be 2, 4, and 6 years from now. In the few years that I've gotten to know these artisans they are always blowing me away and continue to raise the bar for what we can do. I'm excited to see our management staff continue to learn more about business management and for our artisans to continue to learn more techniques for their traits, and to little by little be able to sustain their own businesses.
I love the paragraph on your blog where you talk how God has endless creative ways for us to serve Him. How can our readers play a role in the work He is doing in Haiti?
Think before you buy and think before you give!
Purchasing from Haitian artisans is an extremely helpful and tangible way to support the country. Instead of purchasing that handbag on sale at Target, purchase from an artisan group. And similar to that, I highly suggest finding ways to stimulate the local economy here instead of sending donations over. For example- if you do happen to come on a volunteer trip in Haiti, instead of spending a bunch of money to get you here and paint a house, hire a local painter. Instead of donating your old shoes and old clothes, pay a local shoemaker and seamstress to make pieces for you to give. And more importantly, respect the country and embrace the culture. Too many people think they need to help, serve, bring hope, and make change in countries like Haiti. One of the best ways a person can partner with Haiti is by coming into this place with a student mindset, embracing the chaos, enjoying the natural beauty that God has lavished this place with. Get to know the people, the food, the language, you will be highly rewarded I promise.
Is there anything else you would like to share ~
We are so excited to share our story with you all! If anyone is interested in hosting an event to support our artisans please email- HaitiDesignCoop@gmail.comWow! Chandler, thank you so much for sharing with us. Now its my turn to share some Haitian Design Co-op L♥VE with you all - One lucky reader will win this lovely Heart Pouch made by Cassan (see the photo above!). To enter this giveaway:
1. ) Share this post on facebook (If you don't share directly from my link make sure you paste your link in the comment section)
2.) If you don't have Facebook you can share this post via email with 5 friends (Let me know you did so in the comment section)
3.) For an extra entry into the Giveaway, like Haiti Design Co-op's Facebook page here and like our Facebook page here.
The Giveaway ends Thursday, 17th at midnight.
The heart pouch is only one of the many amazing products that Haiti Design Co-op has to offer, check out their Etsy store for see more goodies! I spy some great Easter Basket stuffers...
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