Heart of Haiti: Supporting Local Artisans in the Face of a Hurricane
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Shoppers at Macy's can now contribute to relief efforts in Haiti by purchasing beautiful goods handcrafted from that country's artisans. Macy's Heart of Haiti collections provides artisans with much more than simple donations; it helps the community once again prosper by using the same craftsmanship that the country is known for.
The handmade treasures form an crucial part of the local culture and economy. But in the wake of this year's tragic events (January's earthquake left the country devastated was soon followed by a cholera outbreak), raw materials became scarce and funding for economic support is low.
Now, Hurricane Tomas is placing the country at risk again. CNN reports that the country might see as much as 15 inches of rain, which could trigger massive flooding and mudslides.
The home decor items are available online and at 25 of Macy's stores, with 22 percent of the price tag going back to Haiti. The program also offers the more than 200 artisans at work the opportunity to collaborate with U.S. designers so that the richness of their craftsmanship can continue to prosper.
Above: An artisan in Haiti paints a quilt pattern on a Vase of Memories. The pathwork quilt of life is symbolic of the pattern of life, which has different stages, experiences and friendships but together join to form one story.
The finished Vase of Memories is sold online at Macy's and a 25 of its stores nationwide.
Isador has been creating art for 21 years. He created the wooden trays and coasters in the Heart of Haiti collection while working out of his small atelier home in Jacmel, where he live with his wife and five children.
"This work, the order form Macy's, helps me support my family and it allows me to train and support other young people," he says. "When an artisan creates, it is like a love in your heart."
A closer look at the small wooden fish coasters.
An artisan in Haiti works on a handmade feast tray, which is used during offerings to special guests.
A closer look at the Feast Tray.