Yesterday DHL pulled up just as I arrived home. I love it when DHL pulls up! It means a big box of goodies has arrived from somewhere exotic. This time that exotic land was Afghanistan and the products were purses, totes and Christmas ornaments.
How do I get bags shipped to me from Afghanistan, you ask? Here’s the scoop. My in-laws went to Afghanistan earlier this year for a month to volunteer at a hospital. My mother-in-law, Florence, returned with a contact for me, an organization called Zardozi. I looked them up and was enamored with their products, not to mention their story. Zardozi has been around since the 80’s, when they started a sewing center to train Afghan women how to use their skills to make marketable products. Now they work mainly with Afghan refugee women who live in Pakistan or in eastern Afghanistan. Many are starting to return home and they’re able to bring their new skills with them, continuing to work and therefore provide schooling and healthcare for their kids. This is incredible in a country with a history of confining women to the house, let alone allowing them to work. Working with Zardozi allows the women to work from home, while they’re with their children, and still have an income.
The bags blew me away when I opened them yesterday. Only a few up are up on my site so far but more will be up soon. I love the Glitter Bag (above). It’s big enough for me with all the toddler gear I haul around and so pretty but sturdy too. My friend Katie was ooing and aaing over the Pomegrante Tote (below) when she saw it yesterday. And I can’t wait to show you the Kuchi bag, which I don’t have a good photo of yet. It has literally thousands of colorful stitches in this exuberant traditional style from a semi-nomadic people of Aghanistan plus those cute little mirrors you see sewn into South Asian textiles.
All in all, I’m thrilled to introduce Zardozi to the Bambootique family! Watch for more Zardozi products on my site in the next few days!