I have so much excitement at writing this post! It's amazing to look back at our growth over the years, thanks to your support! We may not be as big as other brands but we pride ourselves on 3 core values and these will always limit how much we can make, and sell.
1. Fairly Traded: to us this means our artisans are paid fairly, transparently and up front so they can earn a fair wage and continue to buy the materials they need to craft more. But it also means the handicrafts are very expensive for us, and for you. We can't mark them up much and our expenses are really high, so our profit margin will always be very small but sufficient.
2. Handcrafted: some artisans have been creating and crafting for generations and some are new but all create handicrafts carefully and slowly so the volume we can make (and check to ensure the highest quality) will always be limited.
3. Made in Palestine: we only bring you crafts that are made here in Palestine so we will never be able to expand beyond that boundary. However, it means we find new artisans and even get to do the very fun work of designing new handicrafts that are inspired by Palestinian heritage.
All in all, we are pretty impressed with our growth. Did you know that just 5 years ago, we were celebrating our annual sales at
$5,600? This year you supported artisans by buying well over $100k in handicrafts! HUGE APPLAUSE TO YOU AND THE ARTISANS.
In 2021, we added 6 new artisans
formally to our group of partners. Each of these artisans includes between 2 to 10 other hands that are part of their creative process and economic impact. We purchased from 10 other artisans one time or more, even though we didn't formally add them as partners (because there's a lot that means in terms of what we offer them for support). And here's my personal favorite: we started a new group with five women doing tatreez together on Fridays over a pot of tea. Because of your support, we were able to pay over $80,000 directly to artisans
for handicrafts this year! We spent lots and lots on shipping to the US so we could provide you faster, more secure shipping that was also affordable to you.
We provided so much invaluable support to our artisans this year with trainings, consultations on branding and development.
Plus our team grew with Jamilla Hashem joining us for email marketing, Samer Fidy volunteering to run and grow our Instagram, Summer Bush and Khadeja Ibrahim also volunteering with content and photography (plus more) respectively.
You donated 5,250USD to adopting olive trees and 240USD to plant a tree. You increased our returning customer rate 51% from 2021, so thank you for coming back for more.
You also grew our instagram from 5k to over 12k followers in one year! The engagement from you, clicking on our emails, sharing our fb posts and even writing emails thanking us has been so wonderful. We appreciate you and all you have enable us to do in 2022!
We are so excited about the changes coming in 2023 as we continue to grow! Please share with your family and friends our site and social media so we can raise more awareness and support for Palestinian artisans.
From all of us at Handmade Palestine, THANK YOU!