Story: Win-win for Bhutanese artisans (en)
The way we shop has changed rapidly with COVID-19, and is turning out to be an unexpected experience for buyers and sellers alike.
As we try to keep pace with evolving trends, handicraft and home textile artisans from Bhutan are setting examples that others can follow.
The event was Maison&Objet , the venue: virtual!
The Maison&Objet is the world's leading name for the design, decoration and lifestyle community. Held twice a year in Paris, the trade fair serves as an effective platform to bring together designers and buyers from all over the world to make profitable connections.
The second edition of the fair, which was held last month, enabled many designers to participate virtually and present their creativity and expertise to the world.
On display were creations from 20 Bhutanese artisans, called Woven by Heart: A Collection of Hope and Happiness from the Weavers of Bhutan.
Weaving is considered to be an 'art of living' in the country, with traditional techniques passed on from mother to daughter. These women were determined not to let the challenges of COVID-19 disrupt their work.
The weavers received online training and coaching by two international designers, which helped them to achieve the right quality for buyers. They continued developing designs for the fair and successfully displayed their collection.
With at least 61 new potential buyers, business prospects look brighter than before with support from the EU-Bhutan Trade Support project, funded by the European Union (EU).
The project aims to diversify Bhutan's exports by improving the national trade and investment regulatory framework, and increasing exports of horticultural products and textile handicrafts. It also focuses on providing local handicraft producers with business skills, knowledge of market demands, export quality management, and best practices in sustainable production.