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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Fair Treasure x Mata Traders, Ashirwad & Prokritee

FILE: HOLIDAY 2013
The December Fair Treasure Box Featuring Mata Traders Ashirwad and Prokritee Fair Trade Indian Handcrafted Gifts Gave That
Fair Treasure, the monthly subscription service of fair trade artisan pieces previously featured here, surprised me with their box for December! If you've ordered one or gifted a subscription get ready for a really awesome surprise this month. Come peek inside the last Fair Treasure box of the year...
Fair Treasure December Box Ashiwad handmade star ornaments Mata Traders necklace and Ashirwad Star Ornaments
Cutting through the tape and folding back the flaps of the box I immediately saw the beauty of what was waiting inside. A shimmery silver organza pouch, a small cardboard box with a gold seal on top and a piece of art which I later found to be a beautiful handmade greeting card. This time everything in December's Fair Treasure box comes from artisans in India who've captured the festive season beautifully!

First a holiday card from Bangladesh based Prokritee. Covered in red 3D paper flowers, poinsettias I think, and a glittery Happy Holidays these definitely are mini works of folk art. Prokritee itself is an agency that provides jobs to poorer women in rural areas who are often widowed, divorced &/or without land or income. Through their initiative they train and develop these women into artisans and provide a safe environment to work and create pieces such as the cards above.

The next thing that I pulled out of the box was the shimmery gift bag filled with puffy little star ornaments! These immediately went up on the tree and are absolutely gorgeous. Each is handmade from blue Batik fabric and tiny silver beading by Ashirwad around the suburbs of Kolkata. A collective of artisans of many different faiths working together to provide a better life for their families. 

Then the last surprise was waiting in its own little box. I have to admit to peeking at the info card and seeing jewelry, which made me ridiculously excited as I love Indian jewelry. There was an inkling what was waiting inside but I could not have fathomed how amazing a statement piece it would end up being. Called the Archer necklace it's smooth white bone with tiny gold beads from Mata Traders. Designed in Chicago, Mata Traders works with Northern Indian cooperatives to handcraft jewelry and clothing. Giving once marginalized and exploited artisans living wages and safe working conditions. I Love everything and who wouldn't feel blessed and grateful to receive such beautiful pieces? I know I do!

I also love how Fair Treasure puts in detailed cards telling you about each enclosed piece and all the people behind them. Their quotes too... 
"God gave us memory so that we can have roses in December" —Thomas Merton
Order or gift a Fair Treasure subscription here and revisit last months box and artisans here.
December's Box c/o Fair Treasure, many thanks!

Image: mam for Gave That

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