Aid to Artisans sets up at Gift Fair
Michael J. Knell -- Furniture Today, August 13, 2008
Hartford, Conn. – Aid to Artisans (ATA), an international non-profit group, will display a collection of hundreds of handmade items at the New York International Gift Fair at the Javits Center, Aug. 16-20. Many will be showing in the U.S. market for the first time.
ATA works with buyers by connecting importers and wholesalers directly to artisans, and by wholesaling products to interested buyers at the NYIGF and other trade shows.
In ATA’s Booth, ID210 in the NYIGF Handmade Hall, new crafts will be shown from 13 countries including Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico, Haiti, India, Kyrgyzstan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mozambique, South Africa, and Tanzania.
In West Africa, ATA helped artisans create curtains, pillows and ottomans that use traditional tie-dye techniques on locally grown cotton.
The Salvadoran artisan group Alternativa created handbags and totes from recycled truck tire inner tubes. Other designs will include iron from Haiti, felt rugs from Kyrgyzstan, and telephone wire and beaded jewelry from South Africa.
Zebra-inspired pillows from Tanzania carry the history of Flotea Massawe, a female craft entrepreneur who defied laws that prohibit most East African women from starting businesses.
Flotea will speak Aug. 16 at 4 p.m. at ATA’s annual Market Readiness Program a business training class at the NYIGF where artisans learn how to market and export their products. Over the last 10 years, graduates of this program have been responsible for upwards of $230 million in retail sales, according to ATA.
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