Over the past couple months I (Joelle) have been working on marketing the scarves that are made through the Warm Heart partnerships to the city of Chiang Mai. Right now, one of the best outlets for sales is to get the textiles into the hands of the masses of people that come through the second largest city in Thailand. So far, after doing some research and good old fashioned door to door canvassing of local businesses I have added three more shops to the two venues already established.
A work day to Chiang Mai starts with a bus ride for two hours in a hand me down Chinese bus from the 1960’s. I definitely wasn’t in Hong Kong in the 1960’s but I haven’t taken a photo here yet. I’m pretty sure the bus ran a lot better as pictured and I’m also guessing the doors probably closed when they were new too, but who needs a.c. when the lack of doors provides nice air flow?
Once I’m in Chiang Mai I work through sections of the city and neighborhoods with the help of Aom who translates and connects with the locals. Thais are so polite and sometimes they may appear to understand a little more English than in actuality! Right now we are working to distribute the cotton scarves which are made by weavers at a temple in Phrao. The goal is to add many more businesses that want to partner with Warm Heart not just to sell pretty scarves but to help write a different story for the futures of the families of the weavers!
I am looking forward to adding the beautiful Eri Silk scarves back into rotation but you need silk to make silk scarves and production is at a stand still for a few reasons including that the last batch of worms died mysteriously. We are still moving forward with some test batches of silk and will do some dying with natural materials in the next weeks.