The love and empathy inspired by a child’s favorite stuffed animal lasts a lifetime – in fact, you can probably remember your own favorite childhood toy. Imagine that, as you held your treasured toy in your arms, the very same toy was providing comfort and security to a child all the way in Peru!
But how could that be, as you squeezed the toy tightly to your chest? While the concept may seem magical through the eyes of a child, the modern world allows for a more intimate global community – one where artisans can share their skills and products with people all over the world.
Peruvian artisans are teaming up with Blossom Inspirations to share their stuffed animals crafted from distinctively soft alpaca fur, a Peruvian tradition that has been passed down for many generations. Each animal toy is crafted from recycled alpaca fur scraps and takes about two days to make. The founder of the organization, Rosa Chang, is a Peru native who wanted to find a way to bring more economic opportunities to Peruvian artisans and share the Peruvian culture with other countries. Chang realized that llamas and alpacas have become a recent trend in the American market, especially among children. She seized this moment to connect American consumers with the art of Peru, where alpacas have been domesticated for thousands of years.
Artisan couple, Dina and David, have been crafting these animals for about six years. They once lived in one of the poorest parts of southern Peru, where David worked in a factory. Eventually, they were able to move to Peru’s capital, Lima. After facing typical big-city challenges like housing stability, crime, and discrimination, they were able to open a workshop that currently employs four artisans (mostly women). They also gained more accessibility to international markets. The couple wanted to build a home for their family and provide their children with a better education. With the growing success of their entrepreneurship came a growing family. Dina and David have just welcomed their third child into the world.
100% of the profits from Alpaca Toys goes directly back to the artisans in Peru. The goal is for artisans to become economically independent, as they learn the appropriate skills to participate in a growing global economy. They are taught to use the internet, communicate with other countries, operate import/export programs, standardize their handmade clothing sizes, and create new product designs based on customer feedback. Fair trade organizations help artisans with upfront costs, especially associated with filling large orders. Artisans can even earn bonuses based on the quality and timeliness of their work.
Blossom Inspirations Co-Founder Jorge Luis Cam Rosell said,
“Si podemos cambiar la vida de al menos un artesano, sentiremos que valio la pena el esfuerzo.”
“If we can change the life of at least one artisan, we will feel that it was worth the effort.”
Friends, that is what fair trade is all about.
Explore Global Gifts’ comfy collection of Alpaca Toys, just in time for the chillier seasons.
Special Thanks To:
Blossom Inspirations Facebook Page
Blossom Inspirations Website