Caribbean Craft has been providing jobs to Haitian artisans since 1990. As a country with a troubled history plagued by natural disasters and political instability, Haiti is consistently ranked as the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Haitians struggle to find a sustained income, where more than half of the population is unemployed. While these problems are challenges that Haitians face, the beauty of the culture is often left unnoticed. The talent of the artistry in Haitian culture that combines creativity, precision, and inventiveness is underrepresented around the world. Haitian artists produce high-quality goods using the natural resources of the country.
Caribbean Craft creates an outlet for talented Haitian artisans to reach international markets. Caribbean Craft has been able to showcase the beautiful artistry of Haiti and bring it to an international setting, all while increasing job opportunity for Haitian artisans. Caribbean Craft channels the unique Haitian culture in its products by incorporating bright colors and traditional symbolism in many of its designs. In addition, Caribbean Craft strives to make all of its products from recycled material. For example the paper maché products are made from reused cement bags, and the oil drums are made from recycled steel strums. Combined with the strong social and education program that Caribbean Craft provides for its artisans, the company positively contributes to the livelihood of Haitian families while also providing unique, quality products for home decorators around the world. In 2006, Caribbean Craft became a female-owned company, consistent to its goal of contributing to sustainable growth in Haiti.
Caribbean Craft’s vision is to be an example of a successful and socially responsible company that enables artisans around the country to live a good life. With integrity at the core of everyone one of its products, Caribbean Craft hopes to brighten the environment of its customers, and improve the quality of life of the workers and people.
After the devastating earthquake in January 2010, the workshop where all our items are produced collapsed. After a very volatile year, support form the Clinton Foundation helped us rebuild. With partnerships from customers such as West Elm and Anthropologie, we have been able to grow as a company and continues to support artisans around Haiti.
Caribbean Craft provide Haitian artisans with fair wages, health and accident insurance, a pension system, and interest-free loans to meet their own needs in case of a natural disaster.
Caribbean Craft strives to find ecological uses for recycled materials. Their highly original and internationally renowned “oil drum” is made from recycled steel strums. The steel is molded into ornate forms and the selections range from folklore art, to Voodoo; it often includes mystical and religious symbolism.
Trendy paper maché comes from empty cement bags and starch made from locally grown, renewable arrowroot; it is fashioned into beautiful and festival ornaments, money or “piggy banks”, serving trays, and a variety of other useful creations. Caribbean Craft also produces their own glue from starch of locally grown manioc and use plastic bottles and gallon containers. Caribbean Craft helps artists design functional products from these recycled products, including napkin holders in tropical designs for picnics and barbeques.
Caribbean Craft has been able to implement a successful social project alongside the business. We partnered with PRODEV to create an education program for the artisans, where they are taught reading, writing and financial literacy skills. After the first year 41 students have been enrolled in the program. 40 of the students are moving into the second year, and 31 new students will start this year.