...is now open. Its still a work in progress, in that there are a few rough edges, but you can go through the shopping cart and checkout process, paying by credit card etc. and we'll be here to help.
We Choose a Handmade World
The garments, hand-embroidered and woven apparel and accessories shown
below are amongst the first one-off creations to come from the new
Women’s Business School of Textile Arts
in northern Laos, whose story is told on this website.
You may be able to find similar apparel or fabrics in
the markets of South East Asia at a lower price, but with this purchase you can take some pleasure in the knowledge that
100% of the price goes back to the women who created the work
and to help keep the school running…half to the women, half
to the school. At the same time you are helping preserve skills
and talents that are everywhere under threat.
Apart from the direct sales of fabrics, such as throws, wall hangings, and some garments, that came from half-a-dozen fund-raising screenings of the documentary film ‘Women’s Business’ in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and several NSW towns, these are the first to be prepared and offered for sale on the Web.
They are, if you like, the ‘toe-in-the-water’ testing of a few new approaches and ideas as to how to earn an income for the Lao village women who produced what are in most cases, stunningly beautiful creations of embroidery and weaving. What we are trying here is something of a combination of Asian textile skills and handicraft, with Western design and fashion know-how, that will hopefully appeal to Australian women with a sense of style and beauty.
As we move forward, this small offering of attractively designed and presented garments and accessories should blossom into a wider and more substantial selection from which to choose.
For now though, there are some beautiful scarves...like the one at left modeled by the student who made it...Ms. Nen as well as shrugs (sleeve jackets)...like the one on the right, also modeled by the woman who created it, Ms.Khanbee.
Also...very soon, a couple of great designs for coats and tops…including some truly stunning embroidery to enhance denim jackets, cushion covers and bedspreads. But the beautifully embroidered shoulder bags and smaller woven versions below are early samples... and School Principal Merynguen's classic example of Yao Mien embroidery is a museum quality collector's piece.