October 10, 2011

A Visit to the Artisan Villages of Haiti With Macy's

I traveled to so many places this past summer and it dawned on me that I never posted a blog from when I flew to Haiti with Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren and designer Rachel Roy for the Macy’s “Heart of Haiti” program.  The purpose of the journey was to network with local artisans and find products that can be sold at Macy’s.  Macy’s launched the “Heart of Haiti” program in October of 2010 to help support that devastated nation, by selling traditional Haitian artisan home décor products.  The program is made possible through both grants and loans from the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund as part of its mission to promote jobs and create economic opportunity.  The Fund has rebuilt many artisan studios damaged in the quake.  The "Heart of Haiti" collection currently includes quilts, metalwork, ceramics, wood carvings, papier mache, paintings, and jewelry.  Each item is designed by master Haitian artists exclusively for Macy’s and is made by hand by local artisans.  The spirit and creativity of the people of Haiti is reflected in the vibrant colors and joyful patterns of each piece, and each purchase helps the Haitian artisans preserve their cultural history, restore their homes, and rebuild their communities.  Haiti is recognized globally as a center of handmade industries and its ancient culture includes a vast diversity of traditional, handmade products.  It really was a fascinating trip!