One of the things we do regularly is send new polymer jewelry designs to ACP, our Fair Trade partners, to see if there are new items they’d like to buy. It is always rather nerve wracking and we wait anxiously to hear.
It was very quiet the month after our training (partly because it was the new financial year in Nepal) and we had almost given up hope. Then just after our resident polymer clay person returned from a brief period of non-residency, we got a big order from ACP.
They wanted a few pieces each of many items in our range-including some of our new designs like chili necklaces and flower beads. We had been wondering if they would like our efforts at incorporating some more traditional elements into our designs.
ACP packages our items and then showcases them to overseas markets and, if our designs are liked, we get orders. So now we are up to our eyeballs in bahinis (our little sister beads), sari beads, chilis and flowers. There is a lot of claying and beading to be done.
Our table has been a bit of a problem but we are getting a better surface and are in the process of submitting a proposal to a fund that supports artisan groups. We are asking for funds to get some decent storage which we think will improve our efficiency and capacity to plan ahead. Keep your fingers crossed for us.
We were just getting stuck into that order when another one came in-our biggest yet. Over the next month, we will be making hundreds of bahinis-including some in a new yet-to-be-developed colour. We are very, very excited as this means steady work for the ladies. On their own initiative, they have formed a small cooperative and are helping to give a kick start to the ladies doing the pickles/ incense business. It is wonderful seeing them working together.