IGP On the Road- Bangkok April 2-5

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Day One of “IGP On the Road- 2011”- We arrived in Bangkok yesterday afternoon at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel, a beautiful property on the river. We were greeted by our friend Laura of NESA (Near South East Asia- Council of Overseas Schools) and got our beautiful WEAVE booth set up for their Spring Conference. There are over 600 participants from all over Asia to attend education-related sessions for three and half days.

We have the perfect spot and are the only handicrafts vendor. Our booth is full of items and they are catching the eye of all participants. From 7:30 this morning we’ve had eager shoppers. So far, our big hits are scarves, sarongs, travel organizers, eco bags, traditional Karen bags and our dolls. We’ve shared with customers that for every two dolls sold, one doll will be made by an artisan and given to a refugee child, as part of WEAVE’s ongoing program.

Participants are interested in knowing about the story behind our products- where they are made, who makes them and how IGP (Income Generation Project) works. It’s great to have their interest and inspiring to share women’s stories. One customer does social justice with her classes in Saudi Arabia and they have been talking about fair trade, but as she says, “the only fair trade products around are from Starbucks.”  She was excited to get our hand-embroidered cards and new embroidered wrist bands for her students to show them more examples of what fair trade means. She’s also interested in sharing more about WEAVE and IGP with her classes. And we are happy to share!

Japheth Diones, our resident marketing consultant, is finishing up preparation for his presentation tomorrow. He’ll be talking about IGP and the impact its had over the past 15 years. Plus, what new direction the project is taking.