I love Christmas — the lights, the time spent with family and friends, the kinship. One of my favorite parts of the season is picking out a tree with my husband and son and decorating it. The ornaments we use on our tree remind of us shared experiences and represent what the holiday season means to us. This year, Macy’s sent me a beautiful white snowflake made by the artists who craft metalwork pieces for the Macy’s Heart of Haiti line.
My home has beautiful Haitian artwork in each room, and this ornament, just like my my other pieces, is more than just home decor. It gives hope thanks to a sustainable business model that has created economic empowerment for Haitian artists following the devastating 2010 earthquake and more recently, Hurricane Matthew that devastated parts of the island in October of this year.
With each piece I purchase to use in my home, I’m giving back and promoting trade-not-aid that helps support 550 artisans while benefitting an extended 4,500 family members! That not only makes me feel good about every purchase I have made, but also encourages me to give my friends and family gifts from the Macy’s Heart of Haiti line every year.
The Macy’s Heart of Haiti Story
Haiti is a country rich in the arts. When the earthquake hit in 2010, Macy’s made the bold decision to carry a product line made by local artisans. Shortly after the earthquake, the infrastructure did not even exist to house or even ship goods. Today, seven years later, Macy’s continues to sell the products, with a full assortment of beautiful handcrafted items available at macys.com and select stores. It is a sustainable economic model that has proven successful time and time again.
In Haiti, the average daily income is around $1.00 a day. The handcrafted wares the artisans create and sell through the Macy’s Heart of Haiti directly benefits them financially. It enables them to repair their homes, pay school fees for their children, and feed and clothe their families. Steady income means better nutrition, improved education, and access to healthcare. The Macy’s Heart of Haiti program continues its goal of helping Haitian artisans achieve economic empowerment through the sale of their handcrafted goods. (Artisans receive a percentage of the retail price for each item in the collection.)
Artists have the opportunity to collaborate with US designers, strengthening artisan associations (like the Artisans Business Network), while inspiring and energizing their communities. Haitian men and women are working together, gaining confidence and hope for the future. Master artisans who planned to leave the country are now staying behind to train the next generation. Macy’s Heart of Haiti is one effort in bolstering the tradition of rich and unique Haitian art.
Every time you make a purchase, you have an opportunity to make a difference. Buying products like Macy’s Heart of Haiti that give hope and employment to artists is a way to make sure your hard-earned dollars are making a difference.
Heart of Haiti FAQ’s
- All products are available on macys.com/Haiti as part of the Gifts that Give Hope Collection.
- Haiti has an estimated 400,000 artisans who rely solely on their handcrafted goods as a source of income. No other sector of employment even approaches such numbers.
- Macy’s Heart of Haiti employs 550 artisans while benefitting an extended 4,500 family members
Disclosure: I was gifted a product from the Macy’s Heart of Haiti line however all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.