For most of us, global manufacturing hubs are the high end industrial units and demarcated areas that are known for their complicated and sophisticated infrastructure and facilities. Nobody identifies such characteristics with villages located in the remote areas of the Indian sub-continent or perhaps a tiny village in the Peruvian Andes.
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Reason being, we are still a world away from handmade necklaces for women that are slowly becoming more and more popular among many developed countries across the globe. This is a dynamic economic sector in the making and it thrives in such localities where people dependent on this trade make a living to run households and support their families. If you happen to come across such a spot in those rural areas while on a trekking trip or an adventure tour with your friends, you will notice them being abuzz with sounds of iron being hit and welded, workshops brimming with painters and potters, small units swarming with dusty handed carpenters and weavers. These artisans have been applying their creative skills passed down from generations to produce handmade earrings for women and knitted baby hat patterns that are not only a sign of tradition but a source of their income. Even John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State agrees that supporting the handmade goods industry is an innovative way to help many developing countries flourish. Artisans are in need of help, support and recognition and we could make a big difference by being that support system.
Various studies and trends indicate that the impact of handmade bracelets for women by artisans on communities and on the world economy could be beyond measure. This ongoing trend if followed by more promising avenues and opportunities of entrepreneurship would be widely acknowledged. This could be a way out of hunger and destitution for poverty stricken nations and also a way to ensure uniform economic development. Both agriculture and artisanry are powerful mediums to eradicate poverty for millions of households with the latter being only a close second to the former. The artisan or handmade goods sector is the second largest employer across developing countries and many of the families whose livelihoods depend on farming are also often the ones earning income via the sale of handmade necklaces for women during their off-season or no production. There is quite a huge potential in the artisan sector but due to a massive perception problem the divide between handmade goods and the regular consumer continues to remain. Many consumers still continue to shun mainstream or mass-produced goods in favor of the handmade bracelets for women but it seems so that the charm of the one-of-a-kind is still not strong enough to hold its ground among its users.
In more precise words we need to think beyond tourist trinkets. We need to go beyond this myth that handmade earrings for women and knitted baby hat patterns are but only collectibles and mementos that we grab over a period of time or while on a journey to far off oriental lands. They are instead handmade earrings, necklaces and bracelets for women and knitted baby hat patterns clothing and accessories and traditional artworks that can be sold at high end stores worldwide.
For instance, India is a country marked by 2.7 million SHGs (Self Help Groups) whose activities are aimed at taking artisan made products to the world. The presence of middlemen though is hampering this effort as under their current retailing structure, a lot of the proceeds from the sale of handmade necklaces and earrings for women and knitted baby hat patterns accrue to the middlemen, leaving very little for the artisan community.
The Indian government has recognized this issue and decided to come up with a ‘village to market’ model via SHGs. This will eliminate unnecessary middlemen and enhance incomes of artisans by giving them direct linkage to high end international stores and markets. According to a report by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts, India continues to export handmade necklaces, bracelets and earrings for women and knitted baby hat patterns worldwide and the numbers are on the rise.
We also have to understand that beyond their aggregate economic impact which is again quite strong, handmade earrings or necklaces for women and knitted baby hat patterns by artisans reflect the rich culture and unique social traditions of the communities from where they originate.