When purchasing these handmade products, one is supporting the growth of cottage industries throughout Armenia. This affords many women the opportunity to support families and utilize their natural talents and skills. These artisans are members of Homeland Development Initiative Foundation (HDIF), which supports the development and growth of these endeavors.
HDIF projects have already enabled jobs for over 140 women with an additional 120 on a wait list. People with disabilities also have work opportunities through HDIF that allow them to be productive and independent.
The best part is that these artisans are committed to detail and quality. In fact, many of our customers have said that these products could sell in museum gift shops, high end kitchen stores and NYC/LA boutiques. While we look forward to that day, shopLAVENK ensures that the majority of the selling price (minus our import fees, shipping costs, insurance, etc.) goes to the producers who are paid a living wage (more than double the minimum wage). The products are crafted carefully and some, such as the Berd Bears, take over 20 hours to make. The sale of only eight bears creates a job for one woman each month!
Browse, shop and spread the word about this exciting cause!