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Artisan Resource 2015

New York Now, the marketplace for home, lifestyle and gifts, hosts a section called the Artisan Resource. Connecting US based importers with overseas artisan enterprises; the Artisan Resource acts as a production sourcing opportunity to a range of committed social enterprises around the world. Product categories run the gamut of gift, home décor, stationary, jewelry and fashion accessories, and cover a wide range of materials including textiles, ceramics, metal, leather, and paper. Amongst some of my personal favorites in the fashion and accessories category are old friends, and new discoveries…


Hellooow Handmade make a range of handmade jewelry, homeware and lighting, all proudly made by women in South Africa. Working with talented people and drawing on their culture and craft heritage, Hellooow Handmade produce beautiful and original pieces that combine ceramics, crochet, felt, fabric, and South African flair. Every item is entirely handmade and completely unique.


Enormous cascading chandeliers are made from individually hand rolled ceramic beads, which are fired and glazed before being strung together on strong metal frames. Colors tend towards a sophisticated palette of off white through a range of muted tones including putty, lavender gray, blue gray, charcoal gray, earth and eggshell blue. Chunky necklaces are strung together with gradating sized beads and gently ombreyed color tonalities and finished with ribbons or leather thongs.
Website: www.hellooow.co.za


Laurens Beachwear of Robin Zoe Madagascar produces a line of exquisite, hand woven raffia beach bags. Vibrant, tropical color combinations belay the delicacy of the multitude of tonal shades hiding within, with gentle color gradation and ombre effects. The outstanding range of bucket bags and broad beach baskets each sport contrasting colored binding and hand-sewn leather handles.


Located in Tanzania, Sidai Designs produce a beaded jewelry collection based on traditional Maasai beading techniques, infused with a modern aesthetic. As a not for profit, Sidai support and collaborate with Maasai women, providing tools and strategies for sustainable economic development. By working with traditional artistry, the brands aim is to preserve Maasai heritage, while paying a fair income to artisans and providing safe, clean working conditions.


The jewelry is created entirely by hand, using a combination of upcycled materials, and traditional glass beads. Using thread from old grain sacks, and recycled metal beads, glass beads are intricately threaded together and finished with soft leather and sterling silver fastenings. Each design comes from the creative heritage of the Maasai with the synergy of modern sophistication.
Website: http://sidaidesigns.com


Bibi Hanum create traditional and contemporary clothing using hand woven ikat fabric from master craftsmen in Uzbekistan. Working with traditional techniques that have been in place for generations, the ikats come from the Fergana Valley region. Traditional hand embroidery in the form of tambour, chain and satin stitch, adorn many of the kaftans, created by women from the Nurata, Burkhara and Samarkand.


The collection incorporates a range of contemporary styles, including sweet playful tops, simple shift dresses, and long flowing skirts, and is augmented by traditional Uzbek caftans. All designs are produced from the distinctive Uzbek cotton and silk ikat, and combined with velvet, embroidery and delicately tasseled ties.
Website: www.bibihanum.com


Mochila Mochila by FREAY is a line of South American artisan made bags from the Arhuaco tribe. Hand crocheted by women, the craft involves special techniques that have been handed down over generations. Fusing contemporary design with ancient craftsmanship, each mochila bag is crocheted from organic wool, and completely unique.


It takes a month for a woman to hand weave a single mochila alongside caring for her children and farming. Artisans use both hands and feet to tightly crochet threads in a continuous circular pattern, radiating from the center-point on the base. These bucket shaped totes are built to carry everything from coco leaves to corn crops, and built to last.
Website: www.freay.com


The Cheque Oitedie Cooperative brings together a group of fifty Ayoreo indigenous women from Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The Ayoreo are the indigenous inhabitants of the Gran Chaco Region of Bolivia and Paraguay who harvest the dajudie plant to weave skirts, bedspreads, and bags. ChequeOitedie2

The Cheque Oitedie Cooperative cultivates the dajudie plant with traditional harvesting and sustainable agricultural practices, fulfilling their mission to strengthen women’s cultural identity through the maintenance and promotion of traditional craftsmanship. The line of purses and pouches are woven in a range of earthy colorations in striped and geometric patterns.
Website: https://chequeoitedie.wix.com/cheque-oitedie


Inzuki is a Rwandan brand specializing in hand made jewelry, accessories and interior decor made from local materials. A fusion of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary style, Inzuki seeks to transcend traditional Rwandan design to suit modern needs.


Working with local artisans, the brand produce a kaleidoscope of colorful silk thread wrapped bangles, collars and earrings. Beading also plays a prominent role in the collection with tubular hand beaded necklaces featuring graphic as well as monochromatic color stories.
Website: www.inzuki.com


Inspired by the colorful heritage of traditional Filipino fabrics, brilliantly colored threads are glued onto a base to produce graphic and geometric colorful pattern combinations. Each piece is hand made, taking as much as two full days of painstaking workmanship, to produce the vibrant, graphic and playful designs.


Designer Carissa Cruz Evangelista works with a wide range of artisans across the Philippines to produce the vibrant collection.
Website: http://beatrizph.com

Artisan Resource: www.nynow.com/handmade

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