Empowering Artists in Haiti with the Artisans Business Network

by Elena on March 7, 2012 in Bloggers4Haiti

To many, Haiti represents danger, poverty, sadness, and chaos.  But the stories of the men and women artisans that make up the Artisans Business Network (ABN) tell a different story.

Empowering Artisans through the Artisans Business Network | Ciao Mom

Stories that show through the work ad heart of artisans like Jean Baptiste a master voodoo flag artist, or Rony Jacques the incredibly generous and masterful metal worker, and the chic and gifted Pascale Faublas.

Empowering Artisans in Haiti | Ciao Mom

Theirs is a story of growth.  Of continuous learning.  Of passion and heart.

These artisans, and others that are part of the Artisans Business Network do more than just create stunning pieces of art for Macy’s Heart of Haiti. They put their entire being into creating treasures that evoke emotion and tell of sustainable progress.

Fairwinds Trading, led by Willa Shalit and Country Director, Nathalie Tancrede, works through the support of Clinton Bush Haiti Fund to connect artisans, helping them develop their skills as businessmen and women. The ABN provides in house professional development assisting the artisans to fine tuning their process of shipping and packing for the global market and clients.

At a time of renewed political uncertainty with the resignation of the Prime Minister in Haiti, the work of Fairwinds trading and the ABN are, as Willa Shalit says, more important than ever.  “Many big reconstruction projects will now slow down or stop, since there is no Prime Minister it greatly reduces confidence, but our grassroots efforts can continue full blast.”

Haitian Metal Workers | Ciao Mom

It seems to me that the ABN is a model for redevelopment and progress that could be replicated in so many communities everywhere. It is a model that is based on empowerment and accountability that comes from within. A model for growth that if you think about it, is no different than what a good teacher for a classroom of students or from what a parent might strive for with their children.  Using the strengths of individuals as the foundation, the ABN scaffolds the growth of the artisans through sustained efforts to foster their success.

A model that I am thankful to have seen first hand, and look forward to continuing to support in the future.

Ciao Mom



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Kelly Heisler March 8, 2012 at 1:12 pm

As you know I am a big fan, but truly this is some of your best work! AND I’m not just saying that because we’re #Bloggers4Haiti buddies. Although that is a lifetime bond from which you can never sever the ties. THAT ASIDE, thanks so much for supporting Heart of Haiti! You know firsthand the good that comes of it.

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