Part of the vision of The Golden Silver Hands social enterprise is to work closely with the artisans in the Peruvian Andes; help them improve the quality of their crafts, when needed, and open for them the doors to a worldwide audience.
We have started working with already accomplished artisans in the region, artisans that we can rely upon and that we know their products will be of a certain quality standard that we, and our customers, expect.
These artisans are the minority though. There are hundreds of artisans in the region that we encounter every day on the streets, or in remote villages, that may need more time and effort to integrate into our project. We are developing programs and strategies for addressing difficulties inherent to these cases, such as product quality assurance, reliability in placing orders, efficiency in operations and logistics. These programs may take some time and resources to implement.
When I explain what is that we do to some of the lower profile artisans, their eyes usually glow in the thought of collaborating. They usually spend their times on the street hoping that they will make a cheap sale or two in a good day to tourists passing by. We want to be in touch with these artisans, encourage them and provide a little help when we can until we can better integrate them into our project. We do this by purchasing products from them.
In most such cases we are not able to properly manage a shop in the Ya Market for each one of them, even if the products are of good quality. In other cases the products may not meet the quality standards that we would like to establish in our marketplace. These products are made available in the newly established Charity Shop.
The majority of the costs for these products are on us, and we will simply charge a small amount for helping us to maintain the Charity Shop initiative. We may obviously not be able to pay the same attention in product photography and listing details as we do for other products.
There may be limited availability of products in the Charity Shop at any given time and we would like to prevent abuse of this service, such as bulk ordering cheap products and reselling them. For this reason the Charity Shop products are available only for inclusion in orders that contain at least one product from another shop, and there can be only one product item from the Charity Shop per order.
Shipping costs are calculated with our normal shipping rates, but taking into account that in certain order arrangements additional items may incur no additional shipping costs (something that I will elaborate in a future post), you may be able to get a decent handmade product at a really cheap price. We do not accept returns or issue refunds for products from the Charity Shop.
Have a look at the Charity Shop and let us know what you think!