Bamboo Chic: A Workshop for Haitian Artisans
The Aid to Artisans’ Bamboo Workshop 2 was dedicated to the design and production of a line of bamboo bangles for the tourist market, business training for the first group of participants, and a first round of linkages to buyers. The training serves as the basis for re-integrating participants into the mainstream of social and economic life, by providing access to income generating craft skills for participants living in communities in the North department of Haiti, near Cap Haitien.
The workshop was designed as a “Training of Trainers,” focused on training participants to become trainers themselves, who will disseminate the bamboo-making skills to others participating in the project. After 8 weeks of instruction, 30 artisans graduated from the training and 19 of the most dedicated and entrepreneurial among them created the beginnings of an artisan enterprise, “Bambou Chic.” In the name of this new enterprise, artisans received their first order for 200 bangles.
ATA is proud to introduce some of the artisans who participated in the workshop:
Marie Rose Lubin
I have done sales and marketing for a big company that sells body care in Haiti. I loved the interaction with customers. I used to present materials to the client where I showed them the advantage of the products and the quality and the prices were good. I also did the invoicing. I loved the work. If someone didn’t buy at first I made repeat calls to close a sale.
I am Haitian. I would like to help myself, my three children, my friends and my country. I thank you for helping me.
Many projects come and leave things unfinished. I would like that this group stay in touch when we finish this training so we can stay together. We may be in Haiti but we would like to produce orders for Vonley and Lyn in other countries. We need an office and workshop to be available. If we can find assistance from other countries – like sponsors – perhaps they can help us to fulfill our dreams. Personally, I will do any tasks in the group, but because I spend so much time painting and it is my passion, painting is my preference.
I thank you and Vonley for coming back to Haiti and I hope you come back to visit us one more time. Sewing is my specialty. I have never used a brush before the workshop and I appreciate the opportunity to have done that. I want to continue practicing painting.
I would do anything in the workshop that needs to be done, but I will make your little sacks for the bangles because you need them. Bless you and say “hi” to everyone in the office in the states.
I am Haitian, living in Haiti. My motivation is to work; work for my society, my family and friends.
I think that everyone should be involved in every position to learn about each thing and then choose what they want to do. I would like to see us have a big factory working, teaching people and making magic. I would like our company to cover all over Haiti and all other countries. We will be happy and content making the bamboo. Art has been something I have always wanted to do……now I have the opportunity to do that.
I am Haitian. I want to make something with my hands. This can help me to grow and I can have money to take care of myself, my family, and my country.
I would like this group to grow. We would like to be successful. My vision is to grow Bambou Chic so that we have a big workshop/factory. By expanding the business we could help
other people. I am Haitian. I want to help my family so they can count on me. I want to help myself and also help my country.
I would like to see the workshop grow and see us produce a great deal of bangles. After this teaching we all would like to find another training situation – in color, design and other new bamboo products.
You are asking me who I am….I am Haitian, my motivation is to learn every day so I can help my family and help my society so I can reach my dreams.
I would like to be good in making the bamboo.
I would like to make a bracelet by myself. At the end of 2015 all of Haiti can order bangles. I want to keep working non-stop so I can educate my children. Send them to school. Pay for university. I want to get to work. I am Haitian. My motivation is to learn how to make bracelets with bamboo so I can help myself, my family and my society.
Teline (Telou) Brutus
I would like this group think about something really special. First, I would like that we could open a professional school so we can teach others like me. I have been learning from Lyn and Vonley so I can teach other people in painting. I want to paint. I had fallen asleep. I had a vision, like a dream that I am painting in my dream. I have fallen in love with painting. It is second nature for me. I would like to go higher and higher to help my family because they trust me. Thank you for helping me. I am a waitress at a hotel.
Since the first time you and Vonley came to work I felt that the bamboo was like a woman. She dresses well but you can take her and make her more beautiful than she is. The way is using the bamboo, working the bamboo. It’s like it cares for everything. I have a feeling for the bamboo. So every time I pass a branch of bamboo and I touch it. Each piece I see I want to plant it in the ground.
My vision is that I would like to be a great, great person in making the bamboo, even better than Vonley and Lyn with the bamboo. I had no craft in my life before. I want to see the workshop grow so we can be international. I would like to start from the beginning to the end in making the bamboo so I can choose my position. I have sanded, clear coating and the first time I was using the file.
When I was starting to mix the colors, some people said, why is Lyn is going with that bad color? But now we see them and I love the colors. Now I am closer to the bangles. I love Lyn and I love Vonley.