Raffia, shibori dyed, wall hanging
A major component of our program is to find markets for the goods the artisans are making. That is easier said then done and this week two team members, Mamy and Lalaina, will travel to the US to attend a marketing program at the trade show, NY Now. The program, "Market Readiness for Artisans" is put on by Aid to Artisans and Creative Learning. It is well known in the field and is a weeklong introduction to what the team needs to know regarding product design, quality control, pricing to make their wild silk and raffia products acceptable on the NY scene. Over the past week the US team has been working hard to put our best foot forward in hopes of attracting buyers and an import partner for SEPALI Madagascar. The problems we are having are rooted in the costs of shipping, Madagascar's isolation, the lack of good workshop conditions, equipment, and electricity, seasonal availability of cocoons, quality raffia and relatively high salaries that we pay. It has been tough to pull it all together - please keep your fingers crossed that buyers will order up a storm!
Specifically, at the NY Now event we will be showing handbags, silk wall hangings, ringtail raffia ties, table runners and placemats as well as silk papers - Whew! Mamy and Lalaina will visit with buyers and have the goods critiques. Below are a selection of some of the products they will have critiqued!
We are all very excited. Personally, I can't wait to see the team - stay tuned for the latest when I report after the show!
Silk shibori dyed placemat
Color options for silk and raffia dyes
Ring tail raffia fibers
Wild silk papers for artists
Makira moon on dense weave silk, open weave back