Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jewelry Contest

We started the year off with a bang at Hill Country Hill Tribers. After a break for Christmas and New Year's, it was great to see the artisans again. We were amazed that they braved the 30 degree weather to come meet and, as always, it was great to play with all the cute babies again. 
 We love these women and it's so fun to laugh and be together again, even if we're often laughing at our lack of communication! As always, our beloved Dr. Salai translated for us. At 83, he is still one of the sharpest and wittiest people we've ever met.

One of our goals for 2011 is to introduce some new products. We have been concentrating on bags in the past, but we'd like to explore jewelry as a new product line. We want to continue to connect to the women's cultures and traditional art while making things that are current and marketable. To do that, we're committed to using the up-cycled materials that help our products be responsible and sustainable.

So we're holding our first ever jewelry-making contest! If there's anything that we've learned working with our artisans, it's that they are amazing and creative women. Rather than showing them what to make, we brought in several examples jewelry and asked the women to be creative.

We're focusing on fabric-covered beads that will combine up-cyled cloth with elements of their weaving and the way they twist the thread in the traditional hill tribe bags. 
 We gave the women supplies and asked them to come up with some prototypes. They took a long time looking at the examples and pictures. They divided up the beads, fabric and other supplies.

 Stay tuned for results here on the blog. We'll hold the contest on January 24 and later this month, we'll have a chance for you to give us feedback here and on our facebook page. We can't wait to see what they come up with!


  1. That sounds like a lot of fun. I am looking forward to seeing the results. :)

  2. You guys are so creative at finding ways to honor these women and give them creative outlets to support their families. You guys are great social workers =) I'm excited to see what they come up with!

  3. What a great idea! Looking forward to seeing what they come up with!