Whenever I purchase something new, I have the funny habit of wearing it or put it to use right after I purchase it. That’s exactly what happened with my recent purchase of a beautiful handmade calabash cross body purse. Ever since my return back to Haiti, I’ve grown to appreciate the labor of love and passion poured into items made in Haiti.
I was hosting a group of visitors who came for humanitarian purpose for a week and before they went back home, they wanted to bring souvenirs from Haiti. We drove them to an open market near Place St Pierre at Petion-Ville. A lot of goodies from the artisans were exposed in the straight alley, ready to be purchased. A sea full of colorful jewelries made with coconut remaining, shells, cut metal of Haitian sceneries, paintings of our daily living, baskets and so much more. Still curious about the wonders of Haitian artisans, these visitors extended their trip to downtown, near Le Plaza Hotel where a vendor had her handmade colorful leather sandals exposed on the wall in dozen.
While my visitors were bargaining, looking with excitement for their shoe sizes and asking for my help, my eyes fell upon the calabash cross body beauty that was dangling on the line among the other leather purses. Although I had no intention on shopping while I was on duty, yet the purse revived my childhood memories of desperately wanting to own one back then. Whenever I used to go to school back at Downtown, Port-Au-Prince, I used to see these calabash purses for sale at the vendors booth. As silly as it sounds, it’s safe to say that I’ve honored a childhood dream of mine. Ha
On the following week-end, the calabash purse was a turning head hit and the opening subject of potential conversations about art and fashin. People were quite curious about the finish product, either they wanted to touch to feel the texture or they just kept staring. Some complimented the choice and to my surprise some Haitian didn’t even realize that their little island held such delight right behind their backyard. Although I was shocked to see how much people kept staring at my choice, odd to some and interesting to others, I felt very giddy and so excited to style it right after I purchased it. With an outstanding authentic look like that, who wouldn’t be as excited and giddy as me to style it. Right?
As a self proclaim junky of items made in Haiti, I will certainly encourage you to explore, appreciate and support the work of the artisans. I love the fact the items made in Haiti are not mass production. It’s not only unique, but it also make a statement and I live for statement pieces…(Thank you former retail job at Charlotte Russe for making me overuse the word Statement lol). I won’t condemn anyone who decides to spend their hard earn money on foreign items but I’d convince you to explore the works of your local artisans entrepreneurs who are working hard to go further in business when it comes to giving those handmade items an international feel. May it be in Haiti or elsewhere, the Haitian artisans/entrepreneur are putting their best foot ahead to bring something unique to their customers all around the world…You just have to start experiencing it like I did.
What is your weakness?
There’s so much more in store,
It’s all Love