Our last day at the NESA (Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools) Conference. We’ve had a productive four days meeting the enthusiastic educators and sharing with them the inspiring stories of women artisans from Burma in our Income Generation Project (IGP).
Awareness-raising is key for WEAVE and people have been asking lots of questions and taking our new IGP brochure to give with gifts to friends and family around the world. One customer told us, “I want to be able to show my friends things from Asia that are unique and have a story behind them.” Another customer from Saudi Arabia buys WEAVE goods each time she comes here and championed our booth, bringing five friends who took full bags of products home.
Customers feedback about new products has been valuable, and we have seen our new travel organizers and eco bags sell out here. Our new key chains are great souvenirs for these well-traveled customers. Embroidered wrist bands have been snapped up by the children of participants for their friends and by others for stocking stuffers. We’ll be making some minor adjustments to our hats and money belts, adding our traditional weaving to practical items.
Products from our classic line have been hits- our two styles of laptop cases have sold out again this year! Word-of-mouth has been strong; we’ve had customers come to our booth after seeing them being carried around by other attendees. They also like our potholders, utensil holders, scarves, handbags, passport holders, coin purses, table runners, holiday ornaments and greeting cards.
People love our dolls and our ongoing program- for every two dolls sold, one doll is given to a refugee child for Christmas.
We realized today, thanks to a savvy customer, that our embroidered pouch is the exact size for a Kindle, the new electronic book reader hot on the market today. Speaking of which, a number of people asked for a case for their iPads, which is now in the plans.
We’ve also talked to educators about teaming up for social justice and philanthropic programs in their schools and communities. Our powerful new video will be great tool!
We are grateful to David Chojnacki, Laura Canellopoulou and the NESA Team for inviting us again this year and supporting our work for over 10 years. Driving back to Mae Sot with helpful marketing data, IGP program funding and many new supporters, we look forward to returning in 2013!