I'm a lover of any thing relating to handmade art. Beyond appreciating the final piece, the skill, passion and talent that goes into making something unique by an artisan is dear to my heart. Often time, there's a story behind the art work.
With every new travel adventure, a corner in my home is occupied with a sculpture, a figurine, a painting, etc... representing the culture and life from that place. One of my favorite pieces happens to be a hand carved wood owl I picked up in Mexico, not too long ago. Prior to that trip, I did snatch up a lovely Murano glass ring made by local glass maker in Monaco.
But, when I came to learn a bit about Heart of Haiti, I was more in love. While local art from other countries are attractive and a mainstay in my place, if the piece has a special purpose, I'm that more intent on supporting it.
Having done a culinary fundraiser for Haiti Relief in early 2010, shortly after the earthquake, I'm sensitive to efforts that bring cash and awareness to their suffering and restoration. Through Macy's, the Heart of Haiti initiative has scouted some of the island's most talented artists, sometimes young boys and girls, to create one-of-a-kind pieces that appeal to the American market. After having perused the extensive collection, I particularly loved these two horn cuffs that I found flexible enough to wear year-round and not just in summer. The "Warrior," on my left arm, is my fave and completely personifies my spirit!
Paired with my new ruana by Missoni (for Target) and a wood ring I picked up in St. Maarten and yellow jade chunky ring from Lohehmann's, I went for a 70s vibe that is comfy, attractive and ultimately serves a purpose!
No better shopping than that for me. Following is some neat information about Heart of Haiti and what the fashionable campaign is all about! Consider visiting Macy's website to see the entire Fall 2011 collection. You'll be inspired to pick up a piece or two this season.
I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post, but was given the two cuffs above. However, the feelings and sentiments expressed are authentically my own, always.
· Heart of Haiti is a “Trade, Not Aid” initiative launched by artist and social entrepreneur, Willa Shalit, The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and Macy’s.
· Each item is a one-of-a-kind design and handmade by a Haitian master artisan from raw materials such as recycled oil drums, wrought iron, papier-mâché and stone.
· Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and despite the devastating earthquake, people there are filled with hope and a desire to improve their lives through employment. Options are very limited in this country. The Heart of Haiti initiative is one that espouses “Trade, Not Aid.” In other words, it provides artists with an opportunity to make a living feed their families and pay their children’s school fees. School in Haiti is not free.
· Already, The Heart of Haiti collection has led to employment of 450 artists in Haiti providing financial benefits for an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 people in the country.
· The collection features more than 40 home decor items including quilts, metalwork, ceramics, and paintings. Accessories include vases, candleholders, serving trays, picture frames, mirrors, coasters, necklaces, clutch purses and more! The craftsmanship and technique behind these works of art, ranging from papier-mâché vases to hand cut metal frames & wall hangings, is truly remarkable. The collection is made almost entirely from recycled and sustainable items such as old cement bags, cardboard, oil drums & local gommier wood.