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Inside Results & Impact

Featured Products

    Results & Impact / Case Studies

    Haiti: Helping To Rebuild an Economy

    Background:
    In the mountains above Cavaillon in the South, a group of 40 women first worked with ATA two years ago. The community made their living on their own crops and basket-making from straw. Impressed with their enthusiasm and resourcefulness, ATA provided a second training for them under the instruction of designer Howard Peller. Baskets created from this training session generated strong interest from buyers at the New York International Gift Fair, providing a new economic opportunity for this group of Haitian artisans. In 2011, ATA returned once again to work with them, this time with orders to be filled.

    With funding from Deutsche Bank and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, ATA is working to re-invigorate North American and European demand for Haitian artisan goods. The project is expected to generate over 3,000 artisan production jobs and increase local income growth. ATA plans to facilitate over $700,000 in exports orders.

    What We’re Doing
    Design:
    ATA design consultants work with Haitian artisans both in the field and using distance technology to review and advise on product design, as well as create new designs that will appeal to the commercial marketplace. Design training is provided in papier mache, horn and bone jewelry, stone, high-end metal products, textiles, as well as retail merchandising displays. Prototypes resulting from these design consultancies are presented directly to potential buyers, as well as at upcoming gift and home decor tradeshows.

    Marketing:
    ATA is uniquely positioned in the Haitian craft sector having worked with Haitian artisans for more than 10 years. ATA facilitates artisan export deal flow through demand-driven strategies that introduce its North American and European buyer networks (representing over 6,000 retail outlets) to Haitian producers.

    ATA has been assisting Rebuild (www.rebuildglobally.org), a grassroots non-profit organization started in March 2010. The group employs nine artisans in the production of sandals made from recycled tires. In January, ATA hosted Julie Columbino, Rebuild founder and CEO, for two days at the New York International Gift Fair, where she received product merchandising and branding training. ATA also facilitated the distribution of product samples to niche buying groups who have shown strong interest in the collection.

    To support market development strategies for Haiti craft in Europe, ATA hosted the European Market Access Salon, a business-to-business event designed to link European importer/wholesalers with exporting producers in Paris, France. The Salon is a first-of-a-kind event launched by ATA.

    ATA launched a local market sales promotion targeted at NGOs, Embassies and agencies. With over 2,200 NGOs registered in Haiti representing approximately 15,000 foreign workers, this consumer group represents a substantial market for artisan sales. Promotional materials stressed the economic importance of supporting Haitian artisans.

    ATA is teaming up with organizations with large contingents working in Haiti including CARE, Save the Children, Plan, Gain, Oxfam and Concern, Action Against Hunger, ACTED, and Doctor’s Without Borders, to organize group trips to stores as on-going extracurricular activities.

    Results and Benefits:
    Marideth Sandler, Vice President, The Trade Partnership, and formerly Executive Director, Generalized System of Preference, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, has collected export data on the Haitian artisan sector. She analyzed trends in the handcraft sector, such as papier mache, stone, and metal, which will provide insight to future market opportunities and growth trends in the Haitian Artisan Sector. According to Ms. Sandler’s findings, Papier Mache exports alone rose from $29k in 2009 to $400k in 2010.

    Haitian craft exports once totaled $18+ million/ annually in the early 1990s. In 2009, craft exports were at $2.6 million; based on market research and direct work with North American importers, wholesalers, and retailers, ATA projects the sector to reach $10 million by 2013.