Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Names Behind Our Fair Trade Goods

You won’t find brand name goods at Harmony Moon. But what you will find is real people, real artisans, and stories so real they’ll make your heart break.
Many of our producers are in Nepal and India where women traditionally have limited opportunities for supporting themselves and their children as well as minimal access to education and quality healthcare. As we celebrate International Women’s Day on Saturday, March 8th, we thought we would share with you some of the stories of the real women who make the fine handmade goods you see in our shop. 
Indira makes our woven placemats, napkins, and other tableware with the Association of Craft Producers (ACP). ACP, one of the largest artisan organizations in Nepal, has helped many low income women escape from a life of poverty, harsh working conditions, and exploitation. Indira has an all too common story: denied an education because she was a girl, she was married at 18 and had a daughter. Her husband was unable to support the family and left to find better work in Malaysia. Indira was now the sole support of her daughter as well as two other family members. She heard of ACP through a friend and soon joined their textile team. Through her earnings with ACP, she now supports her family, and, most happily, her daughter is able to go to school. (
Hasroon makes our crocheted coin purses, hats, and scarves with Padhma Creation. Like Indira, Hasroon, too, was married at eighteen. Her husband’s family demanded additional dowry money but Hasroon’s parents were unable to pay it. Hasroon was beaten, had gasoline poured on her, and then set on fire. She survived and was rescued by a women’s shelter program, Padhma Creation. Hasroon is now happy and healthy and is able to support herself and her son from her work with Padhma Creation. (
 Sundari makes our notecards and other handmade paper goods. Sundari came from a very poor family and received only a basic education. Married and with two sons, she joined Bhaktapur Craft Paper (BCP) which was then a project of UNICEF Nepal. Her children received on-site daycare and from her earnings with BCP, she was able to send them to school through Higher Secondary Level (the equivalent of an Associate’s Degree). Both sons went on to become successful national soccer players. In 2004, UNICEF handed over ownership of BCP to its workers and Sundari, from her most humble beginnings, became a co-owner of the organization. (