This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency, but all throughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Like most crafters, every year I have high hopes for making beautiful and meaningful handmade gifts for everyone on my holiday list. At some point in late November, reality (or aching wrists) sets in and I realize that I’ll need to buy gifts for some people I planned to make gifts for. I still prefer to shop handmade, though, whenever possible.
I recently learned about Macy’s Rwanda Path to Peace program, which is now celebrating its ten year anniversary. Through this initiative, Rwandan women weave beautiful baskets in traditional styles. These baskets are sold at Macy’s, and through this partnership, these women earn about ten times more than the average Rwandan wage.
Each basket is unique and handcrafted from sisal and grass. This is a centuries old craft, handed down through the generations in Rwanda. You can watch how the Path to Peace baskets are made in this video.
There’s a special 10-year anniversary basket celebrating this partnership which retails at $50. (If you’re a bargain hunter, be on the look out for the Macy’s 20% off friends and family coupons.)
I was gifted this basket, which features one of the ten year anniversary designs.
I imagine she might use it by her entranceway, or as a centerpiece in the dining room. As a centerpiece, it’s a perfect conversation-starter for a dinner party.To be honest, I strongly considered keeping the basket for myself.
But, as I mentioned, with the holidays approaching it made more sense to gift it to a loved one. There are several other tenth anniversary designs. (The photos below are copyright Macy’s and used with permission.)
And, there are a range of baskets with other designs, too, all with retail prices of $30 to $60.
Each basket includes a dated certificate of authenticity, and the weaver signs an attached tag by hand. I think this builds a sense of personal connection to the weavers, who have used their earnings from this program to support their families while recovering from the war, while adding a special touch to each basket. (If you have a more personal connection to Haiti, Macy’s has another Gifts That Give Hope program with Haitian artisans.)
You can learn more about the history of the Rwanda Path to Peace program, watch some traditional dyeing techniques, and find out how the weavers are using their earnings in this video.
As you think through your holiday gift list for this year, consider buying a handmade gift while supporting another artisan through the Macy’s Rwanda Path to Peace program.