In the whimsical Thai hills, we met with the local communities and discovered a vast number of families who made beautiful, natural crafts. However, they had no reliable source of income to continue freely doing their craft while supporting their families.Living in the hills meant they would have to travel down the hills in the wee hours, carrying their stock to get to the local markets. The process would later repeat with them heading up the hills with their loads when the markets closed.
Clearly something was not right here. We believe with their craft, the people are empowered beyond measure. The missing link was an alternative to this extensive journey. The Colors of the East Bazaar started, selling handmade home accessories and natural textile wear. Our wish was to create longevity, where even if we were not there, the people would continue using modern technology to earn a sustainable income stream. This is an ongoing process of sharing knowledge and we hope that together, we can build a brighter future preserving age old craft techniques, which are also accessible to a global market.
By now, social impact is a word that we are only learning about, so perhaps on a later day, we can adopt a definition that we can share with you.
Colours of the East Bazaar
Just in time for the rainy season, the Colors of the East Bazaar started with a bang.
The concept was showing off the beauty that happens when human hands recreate culture. Each of the pieces collected and sold was something unique, something that could never be replicated, a piece of the East that meant something to the creator, and would be a prized item at its new home.
In case you missed it; there were colors for the home and closet in abundance:
Handwoven traditional Thai fishing trap. Today, it is commonly found in local households and is believed to be fortune omen. Like the fish it traps, folklore has it that a fish trap basket attracts and ‘traps’ money for the owner. Worth a try?
Aren’t these hand moulded Lanna style water vessels simply divine?
Water hyacinth can be such a nuisance. The local ladies however turned it into beautiful clutch bags lined with cotton. This one was certainly for keeps.
Karen Tribe Handwoven Cotton Cloth.
This piece perfectly embodied the intricate patterns and colors of the whimsical Thai hills. What we loved about it was its timeless versatility – a picnic blanket in spring, a throw or table cloth for that summery feel, a warm winter night companion for the cooler nights.
The Karen tribe have for centuries been known as silversmiths. In fact, Karen silver is of slightly purer than Sterling Silver. These earrings were hand beaten to perfection using the simplest of tools in the northern Thailand.
Heard of sticky rice? This big Thai rice basket here is almost like a large lunch box. It keeps the sticky rice fresh throughout the day. It also serves as an excellent breathable fruit basket that’s easy on the eyes and makes a subtle statement.