The crafts in our stores are handmade by artisans, 70% of whom are women, from over 45 developing countries across the globe. Marketing their crafts at Plowsharing provides vital income for these people, income that is used to put food on the table, to provide healthcare, and to clothe and educate children. We are committed to practicing Fair Trade, which means that we work to ensure that artisans receive a fair wage for the work that they do.
Featured Artisan Group:
Rajana Association, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Rajana Association is a nonprofit organization for income generation and skills training, producing fair trade products using traditional Cambodian skills with contemporary designs. The name “Rajana” means “design” in Khmer. Rajana Association focuses on the rural and urban poor, and small producers of handicrafts. Rajana trains young Cambodians in traditional craft-making skills, as well as in accounting, marketing, computer courses and English. Through development of traditional craft-making skills, Rajana helps maintain and rebuild Cambodia’s rich
cultural traditions, damaged in the country’s wars.
At Plowsharing Crafts we carry a variety of products from Rajana, including a line of jewelry made from recycled bomb casings. War in Cambodia littered the landscape with bomb casings and unexploded bombs. Artisans with Rajana create with casings collected by Halo Trust, a demining agency making the land safe once again for communities throughout Cambodia. Rajana transforms bomb casings into fashion statements for peace.
We have a special connection to Rajana Association through one of our staff members, LynAnne Wiest. LynAnne spent a year volunteering with Rajana during 2010-2011, assisting the artisans in developing new products and marketing materials. The latest jewelry item we received from Rajana Association was designed by LynAnne during her year there: the Resurrection Leaf Earrings.
“Trees, in just about every culture, are a symbol of life,” LynAnne said, “so this was a perfect fit for the material. Creating a symbol of peace and life out of an object war and destruction reflects the attitude of the Cambodian people who have been through so much tragedy in the past few decades and yet are filled with so much hope for their future."
Click here to purchase the Resurrection Leaf Earrings.