We currently work with over 100 artisans across 10 different communities spread across the Philippines. Truly, there is no greater honor or joy. Every drop of their heart, soul, and spirit pours out in everything they do, in their families, in their communities, and not least in their craft.
Our artisans come from the regions of Bulacan, Bicol, Romblon, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Paranaque, Taguig, Cebu, all rural or suburban regions close to big cities. This presents unique opportunities for them; they benefit from rich natural resource, and at the same time have access to an urban marketplace. They are, however, also more exposed to the gaping income and wealth disparities the Philippines faces.
The materials stay true to their roots. They have always been working with the fruits of their land and sea - coconut fiber, palm leaves, mother-of-pearl. Their craft stays true as well, resisting the efficiencies of machining in favor of preserving the essence of their work. Where we innovate is in the application of the craft. Coconut and palm fibers, for instance, are traditionally most often used within the handicraft industry to create household items such as brooms and baskets. We have since developed ways of creating new shapes and forms, our animal planters among one of the newest. We have also developed new, safer ways of adding new, vibrant colors using non-toxic dyes.
We are committed to practicing fair trade. We strive to empower local communities and provide artisan families with a means to earn a dignified income through fair wages and comfortable working conditions. Our artisan partners typically earn 25% above the living wage.