Today I was reading the Scoutie Girl website and the author, Tara, posses a very interesting question, "How will you change the world with your money?" Interesting question Tara, and one that I've thought of quite a bit.
Most of us know that it's very important to buy local and love the idea of buying handmade. But sometimes something as simple as these things can still be a dilemma. Local, handmade goods are widely available throughout Morocco, but for me, it's still hard to buy them if I don't see a direct connection between the money that I'm paying for the product and the Artisan who made it.
It's a tricky situation because as a maker myself and a volunteer who works with a struggling women's cooperative, I want to see as much of the product revenue as possible go to the person who made the item, not some middleman out to take advantage of them.
But middlemen have to make a living too, and these products are coming from places around Morocco, and from groups of people who might not otherwise be able to bring their products to the markets that will buy them. So I guess you might say I'm on the fence about the whole middlemen idea, though I always buy directly from an artisan when I have the chance.
Throughout this post are pictures of products that I've bought this last year in Morocco. They are examples of how I'm changing the world with my money. Most of them come from the last two Marché Maroc craft fairs this past spring. Some will be gifts for family, while others I will be keep and treasure for years to come.
In watching the cooperative that I work with grow and develop their product line and skills over the last year, I have seen first-hand the difference that buying handmade can make.