Haiti has an amazing craft tradition, which is why we first started working with artisan groups there to produce our our Papier-Mache Animal Sculptures.
Over the years we’ve expanded our artisan collections to include more traditional handicraft techniques + products.
Along the way, our relationship with Haiti – and the community of makers we work with there – has gradually become deeper and more purposeful.
That’s why we made the decision to partner with the PRODEV foundation to help provide adult education to artisans in Port-au-Prince.
With guidance from PRODEV and the Clinton Global Initiative, we’re proud to support a program that will teach 50 artisans to read, write, and gain financial literacy.
Crafters like Irene Saint-Eloi, who prepares the papier mache for our animal sculptures, is now taking classes in the same place where she works. She no longer needs a third party to read her prescriptions or to send her text messages. She can make sense of the “written world” for the first time.
Irene is living proof that supporting truly handcrafted products means directly supporting a network of crafters around the world. We are grateful that west elm can be a part of this worldwide makers’ movement.