Thursday, June 28, 2012

Born at Christmas

I've never properly finished my Christmas in Haiti series, but today as I sit at my computer, my mind is taken back to that beautiful country filled with hopeful people.  And I'm crying.  We were only there a week so there was not enough time to actually build meaningful relationships.  But even in that short time, I fell in love with people.  However, I felt helpless to offer them anything.  Oh, I could give them some money.  They've long come to expect that from Americans.  But I longed to leave behind something that would last beyond their next meal.

We didn't arrive in Haiti with an agenda.  I knew I would be at Kathy's mercy.  We've known each other a long time and she knows my gifts and my lack there of.  She rightfully steered me to her workshop where she showed me a basket of fabric rosettes the ladies and girls had made and said, "We need to figure out how to make these into something marketable to sell."  Hmmm....ok.  So, I spent a better part of the week fiddling in the workshop, trying to design marketable products.

Raegan with the original bow with rosette
I kind of liked these rosettes with a ruffle behind them.  Kathy was not initially keen on them.  I was rather insistent they were cute.  They're not really Kathy's style.  I persevered anyway and even taught a couple of the Haitian girls how to make the ruffle.  I turned out ten or so different color combinations, attached them to various kinds of clips and left them hanging in the workshop.  Well, I did bring one or two home to give away...just to see the reaction of moms who might buy them for their girls.  I left Haiti not certain I had been a bit of help to Kathy.

Back to my crying this morning.  Facebook greeted me with my top story being "2nd Story Goods is now open online."  Excellent!  What I was unprepared for was my reaction to the product line - most of which I had seen a dozen times.  You see, the rosette bows are now being made by students at the deaf school in Goniaves, Haiti.  And they are among the products for sale.

 Additionally, the burlap headbands were born that week, with Kathy making the first one for her daughter as I sat on the stool next to her.  I encouraged her that the teen crowd would love them.  She knew Benson, the guy who makes journals, could easily help perfect the design.  I think I was wrong.  More ages than teens want to sport a burlap headband.

So, click over to 2nd Story Goods and buy some bows and headbands - well, why not get one or two of everything.  Some of those products were born at Christmas and contain a piece of my heart.

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