“If Haiti has a label, handicrafts should be one of them,” said Einstein Albert, the 41-year-old owner of a family artisan business. “If Fairwinds and Macy’s come, I think other companies will come.”
The aim of the day trip was to explore business opportunities, promote foreign investment and even renew purchase orders for the metal and papier-mache handicrafts for which the Caribbean nation has long been known.
“It’s a commercial visit,” Stewart told The Associated Press. “We’re talking business.”
The profits help pay for meals, school tuition and even repairs to their homes damaged in the January 2010 earthquake. The organizers also believe that income will spill into the neighborhoods of Croix-des-Bouquets and Jacmel, two cities long famous for their artistic communities.
Artisan Brutus Jean-Carlo, a native of Croix-des-Bouquets, said Macy’s orders are giving him $250 extra a month.
“It’s helping me a little, but I’d like a larger contract,” the 35-year-old said.