Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Heart of Haiti at Macy's

Macy's selling unique art pieces by Haitian artisans at two dozen stores around the country.

Macy's to promote Haitian artists' work in their department store and online starting this month. The retailer has put up 20,000 art pieces for sale.
This is a one of kind shopping experience created to support the Artisans of Haiti. Each item is designed by a master Haitian artist and made by hand in Haiti. Vibrant colors and joyful patterns express the Haitian spirit.
Despite the devastating 2010 earthquake, Haitian artisans continue to turn raw materials like recycled oil drums, wrought iron, paper mache and stone into art that embodies their rich culture and history. These traditional, handcrafted treasures provide life-saving income to the shattered communities they call home.
Many of the artisans and artists are still living in tents in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 quake. They are struggling with the same difficult situation faced by 1.5 million displaced Haitians living out in the open elements without electricity or running water. The Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps have been battered by tropical storms in the eight months since the earthquake, making the condition in the leaky tarps and tents even more miserable and dangerous.

The Miami Herald reports, "Despite the conditions, the Heart of Haiti home decor collection was designed in three weeks and produced in 2 ½ months. Normally the process could take two years. There was no time to spare in order to get the products to Macy's for the holiday gift season."

macys_haiti_artisansBrandaid Project, whose mission is to "Unite to rebuild Artisan Communities" has partnered with Macy's, Fairwinds Trading and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, Haitian artisans to provide Haitian artisans with "access to new opportunities to rebuild their communities and continue creating beautiful art."

Haitian artisan Serge Jolimeau says, "A lot of people are working. A lot of people are living. After the earthquake, we didn't have much work. We didn't have much happening, But the Macy's project gave us support... Now more than ever, Haiti needs creative spirit. With help we will rise again."

The Herald reported 35 percent of the sales receipts from the Haitian collection would go back to the artists.

Cameron Brohman, co-founder of the Brandaid Project, said Haitians involved in the project quadrupled their income for the year.

The Haitian communities of Jacmel, Croix-des-Bouquets, and Cité Soleil reportedly participated in the project which employed 350 artists and is estimated to have provided financial benefit to 4,000 to 5,000 Haitians.

Sources: UPI and the Miami Herald.


thezenhaitian said...

Nice promo for Macy's and great opportunity for the artisans. Love the work of Brandaid!

Patricia said...

Very good promo for Haiti and the haitian brand. I like your work. I live in Sweden and we are some few haitians living here. I have a blog just for Haiti in swedish but easy to translate with Google translation. Please take a look.

thezenhaitian said...

Alo, Patricia. Mesi anpil! Thanks for visiting my blog. I enjoy very much getting to post about my beloved Haiti.

I will be sure to visit your blog again, ça c'est bien sûr.
Plaisir, Chantal

madisonmartha said...

Toussaint L’Ouverture is an integral part of Haiti’s history, not to be forgotten. If you want to inform yourself, “The Last Days of Toussaint L’Ouverture” – a short film – chronicled his last moments in fighting against the French oppressors. Clip here

Magalie said...

Most of our artists are still living under a tent, with no hope what so ever. I know by promoting the artists, it will enable them to sale their goods. As Haitian artists struggles to bounce back after the earthquake and most are still waiting on the reconstruction plan to take off.
Without a doubt, Macy’s program will be a big plus on helping to bring more stability in the country
Magalie Theodore!/pages/Baldwin-NY/hecoart/101518879894691

Anonymous said...

this comes at a time when most people have forgotten about the disaster in Haiti so I think Macys is reminding all of us that it's not over. I was just looking for Macys couponswhen I saw the story, but am really glad that I stopped to read it.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful initiative to support the continued needs of the Haitian people and also to bring worldwide awareness of Haitian talent. Kudos!

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