Fair trade brings sunshine

A fair trade story from Polly, our volunteer coordinator:

A customer was in the store the other day and exclaimed “Yea, you still have it!” when she saw the cut-metal sun mirror on the wall.  Then she showed me her foot with a matching tattoo.  She had bought the mirror last year and liked the design so much that she’d had it tattooed onto her foot so she could have it with her all the time.

Nicole with mirror and tattoo

These cut metal objects are made by Comite Artisanal Haitien, in Haiti, from recycled 55 gallon oil drums.  The artisans cut them open, hammer them flat, and then mark beautiful designs on the black metal with chalk.  Using a hammer and chisel, they pound and cut through the metal to make designs.  Some are left black, others are painted with bright colors.

Nicole probably gets asked often about her tattoo, and about the inspiration for it.  She then has the opportunity to tell the story of the mirror and the artisans who made it.  And just like that, the mission of fair trade continues.  Thanks, Nicole, for being a fair trade champion!

Come visit us at the store and check out other beautifully made, cut metal objects from Haiti.  Maybe you will find your own inspiration!  …Taylor