With the move to the new Impact Hub in Yerevan, HDIF has enjoyed greater foot traffic and a higher volume of engaged shoppers. In the shop, you’ll able to see not only HDIF's beautiful products, but also items produced by other Impact Hub members. This new concept of a communal space operated by HDIF helps to bring in both local and international visitors.
While the shop is located on the first level of Impact Hub, HDIF's office is on the 2nd level. This new setup allows for greater administrative efficiency, but close enough proximity to the retail space that the business is operating smoothly.
Among the recent visitors have been Norwegian Ambassador to Armenia Her Excellency Helene San Andresen, British Ambassador to Armenia His Excellency John Gallagher, Zara Zeitountsian, program director of the Graduate Certificate in Hotel and Hospitality Management at the American University of Armenia, and a delegation from Russia led by GIZ Country Director Madeleine Rauschenberger. Not only did these notable visitors enjoy a great shopping experience, but they also learned more about HDIF's mission to create jobs with a living wage through handicraft enterprise.
Impact Hub Armenia Social Innovation Development Foundation (aka Impact Hub Yerevan) is a non-profit organization registered and based in Armenia. Impact Hub Yerevan is a social innovation space and community with a mission to support social impact projects and enterprises which propel the positive development of Armenia.
This Month's Featured Producer Partner
Maral Berberian, Syrian Embroidery & Made51
MADE51 is a project of the UNHCR (UN High Commissioner for Refugees), a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people. By pairing refugee artisans with experienced social enterprises in their host country, MADE51 stimulates local economies while fostering a mutually beneficial relationship between refugee artisans and their hosts.
HDIF producer partner Maral Berberian, originally from Aleppo, has been working closely with UNHCR for several years. Most recently, for the Christmas season, MADE51 chose to market online Maral's sheep ornament made from 100% Armenian wool and a selection of Marash embroidery items.
Since 2011, when conflict broke out in Syria, approximately 22,000 Syrian citizens of Armenian descent found refuge in Armenia.
Maral specializes in Armenian embroidery techniques that she learned while growing up in Syria – traditions that were passed to them by previous generations who sought to maintain their connection to Armenia. One of those techniques is Marash embroidery, a beautiful, intricate pattern that is used to this day to decorate dresses, curtains and tablecloths, accessories, and souvenirs.
Maral is a master artisan specializing in Armenian embroidery, felting, knitting and sewing. Since arriving in Armenia she has become an entrepreneur, renowned for her craftsmanship. In 2017, she was granted “The best woman entrepreneur” award by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and received national master diploma by the Ministry of Culture.
“I treasure our group of women artisans. Each and every one of them is valuable. Our group has now grown bigger and stronger. The women enjoy their handicraft and the ambience of harmony and joy which they have crafted themselves - with the warmness coming from their hearts. My goal in five years is to have my own factory for handicraft production” - Maral
The Latest from HDIF-USA
It's that Time of the Year, Again, and We Need Your Support
HDIF-USA is gearing up for a very busy year! It will kick off with its annual charitable fundraiser, Share the Love 2022, which will be launched on February 13th. Here's a little hint...it's a great project in the village of Tavush! HDIF-USA will also be applying for membership to the Fair Trade Federation in the U.S., which will open many doors to fair trade retailers around the country.
We're on Faire.com!
If you are a retailer and interested in purchasing Armenian-made products for your shop, join us on Faire.com to receive competitive wholesale prices. Entry-level retailers will receive $200 in credit and free shipping for one year when you sign up with this link: https://hdifusa.faire.com.
HDIF Executive Director Tim Straight and Administrative Director Lilit Darbinyan will be traveling to London to participate in the Top Drawer expo with London-based Diasporan distributor Sonya Var. Top Drawer is the UK's leading design-led trade show, carefully curated with buyers in mind. This year's expo is taking place at Olympia London on 20-22 February, 2022.
"We think that Top Drawer is a great chance to network with those in our industry and a very effective approach to lead-generation. It offers the perfect opportunity to connect with new potential buyers," stated Tim.