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The Creators

Here are some stories of the magical hands that give life to our beautiful products. Hands rich with art and lives rich with modesty and simplicity. Each thread adds beauty to the product and color to their lives. Let’s watch them weave, stitch and make the fabric of life. Click on any of the following headers to read the story:

Artisan GroupDescription
women empowerment fair tradeSahaj This unique story shows the benefits of Fair Trade. This group makes our Mix N Match series, as well as other products that requires fine beading. They have been empowered without having Western values imposed on them, and women have been able to become respected, independent, decision makers in their community.
recycled bags groupVishwakarma Read our story about the group that makes our color splash bags. Fair Trade is making smiles bloom in the desert, as artisans are able to lead a dignified lifestyle.
fair trade groupTilonia Our quilts and table covers are created by artisans in the Barmer region of Rajasthan, India. They use the wood block printing technique, similar to the one used in the Eco Shoppers and Laptop Bags, but differing in their modern-design approach.
fair trade recycled paper artisansEco Friendly Papers All of our journals and other social stationery items are made from recycled cotton rags, making them 100% tree-free. This story showcases the skilled artisans who make these sustainable products by hand.
fair trade applique groupSURE This is a story about an all-women's cooperative that makes our appliqued products. Click hear to learn about the art of needlework!
fair trade uniqueUnique The Unique artisan group is a collection of great sewers and tailors who specialize in stitching bags together. Some of their bags are completely done by them, while others are made in collaboration with some of our other partner artisans. If a group specializes in weaving a special kind of fabric, block printing, or making good silk, then the Unique group can use their materials to create many of our products.
fair trade jewelry groupMetal Jewelry Artisan Group  After receiving an email from a struggling artisan group, Handmade Expressions provides employment to these talented jewelry-makers.
silk scarves groupMasuta Artisans These artisans create silk scarves and cushion covers by harvesting the tasar silkworm. It is a skill that has been practiced by generations, and now, through fair trade, they are able to reach a market that wants these products.
Fair Trade Green Jewelry groupNiyishi Tribe Our sustainable jewelry is made by an all-women cooperative in the Himalayan region of India. They have all escaped child marriage, and help each other become self-sustainable decision-makers in their communities.
Fair Trade ArtisansRann Kala: The Art of the Desert "Rann Kala" means "The Art of the Desert". There are numerous women artisans in Gujrat, India, who still dress in their traditional clothes and practice all of their customs. They have recently opened up to world markets, and are exporting their mirror-work and embroidered products to share with the world.
 
Kala Raksha
Kala Raksha means “Preservation of Art. Kala Raksha is thus a grass roots social enterprise dedicated to preservation of traditional arts of the region by making them culturally and economically viable.
Desert ArtisansKashida Weavers These artisans weave different home decor items through an art called "kashida". Through fair trade, they have been able to keep their traditional jobs alive. There has also been less migration to cities, since they can practice the kashida art right in their village.
fair trade cooperativeVery Special Arts This is the story of the bags made from recycled video and music cassette tapes. They are made by a group of artisans that belong to an organization that helps children and adults with disabilities.
fair trade recycled bagsAmar Jyoti There is a school in Delhi that takes children off of the streets and helps them become self-sustainable, respectable citizens. They raise income making newspaper bags, and this is their story.
fair trade artisansTraditional Wood Block Printing Many artisans around India are given merit as artists. Such is the case with this cooperative, who make products following a wood-block printing technique. They only use natural dyes, and fair trade has helped them bring their traditional art to a modern context.
fair trade copper bellsCRC Bell Making Artisans We carry fair trade, copper bells made by both men and women artisans. This is the story of how they make the bells, and how fair trade helps them.
fair trade jewelryDiane's Paperworks This non-profit organization helps the artisans that make the elegant jewelry that Bright Hope International used to carry. Handmade Expressions is now supporting this group.
fair trade batik artisansIFFAD A compelling story of women's development, equity and the fostering of creativity. These artisans create our batik products.
fair trade wood block printingSandur The artisans who make our line of "Cosmic" products belong to an organization whose aim is to promote and preserve the traditional craft of the region and provide employment to rural women. This organization works with tribal Lambani women artisans who face challenges such as drought.
fair trade artisansMahila Bunkar Sahakari Samiti These partner artisans make some of our home decor items. The cooperative works with tribal Schedule women artisans who face challenges such as seizing of land and rural to urban lifestyle transitions.
fair trade weaversKasuthi Women Empowerment Group This is the story of our jute and cotton bags, such as the Nature Nectar.
HSSS: The Wood Masters Find out who makes our amazing wooden products such as the cat puzzle box, the wooden top, the earrings stand or the eye glass holder! This is one of the few cooperatives we work with that is composed mainly of men. We used to get their products from ASHA Handicrafts, but Handmade Expressions prefers to work directly with the small artisan groups to make sure Fair Trade practices are really practiced.
fair trade home decorJoo Handicrafts This is one of the newest artisan groups Handmade Expressions has been working with. They live in the troubled Kashmir region of North India. Traditionally, they depended on selling their handicrafts to tourists in the area. An increase in violence in the region has resulted in a decrease in tourists, so the artisans have found a new avenue to sell their products through us.
West Bengal Artisans The artisans who make our Jute expressions bags are located in the West Bengal region of India. They belong to a nonprofit organization that works to better the standing of women, children, marginalized castes, the mentally and physically handicapped and the disadvantaged.
HEED Handicrafts HEED Bangladesh (Health, Education and Economic Development) is a Christian, Non-Governmental and Non-profit, national Organization, formed in 1974, by several Western Partner Organizations, to support people displaced by ‘Liberation war of Bangladesh’ in 1971.



Note: If you are an artisan group who wishes to explore the possibility of working with us, please e-mail us at sourcing@handmadeexpressions.net

Below is a video that exemplifies how we help the artisans:

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