This past month Yabal had the opportunity to exhibit our new Eco Home accessories collection at the New World Craft Fair in Antigua, Guatemala. We’ve participated in the fair for the last three years but this year we were able to bring our weaving cooperative leaders as well! Thanks to the support from A Rum Fellow, we brought 6 of our women leaders from the rural communities in Santa Catarina Ixtahuacuán to experience the fair and learn more about international markets, sales, and product design.
The women toured the fair to learn about production quality, the artisan techniques employed by other groups in Guatemala, wholesale pricing, and how to talk about and sell one’s product to the public.
It was also a wonderful experience for them to meet with the public at the Yabal booth and witness the positive reaction of clients their textile work. Here’s what they had to say about the experience:
For me it was a very different and new experience. I never imagined that in Guatemala there was very well made products. I realized that the products of the fair had a very good quality, because sometimes there are artisans who sell their product, but its quality is not very good and most of the time is one of the biggest reasons why these artisans don’t sell their products. I liked very much also to see that there are different people and companies working and supporting different artisans from Guatemala. – Catarina
I liked to come to the fair a lot and meet other products. I saw that the quality of each product is very important to be able to sell them at a good price….The people were very friendly when we talk and we asked them about questions that we had about their products. -Manuela I
Coming to the fair was something totally different for me. We usually don’t get much out of the community and we are always at home working or caring for the family. This is not bad, but going to other places and talking to other people I think is good for us.- Catarina II
I realized that quality is very important for buyers. I think it is important that we as artisans always have good quality in our products. In the future I would like to have more trainings to learn other techniques of how to elaborate other handicraft products.- Paulina
Going to activities like this also makes us take away the fear, talk more with others and above all, have more confidence in ourselves. – Manuela II