During her 10 years in international development in Kabul, Hedvig noticed that the real problem for artisans is not being able to reach foreign markets. She also noticed that while many women are not educated to read and write, they are elegantly educated in the arts, and once given encouragement, bloom into beautiful ambitious entrepreneurs. All they need is a market.
Hedvig Christine Alexander returned to Canada commited to finding access for artisans, plus wanting to get fine design and hand crafted goods out into markets that would support and value them.
I met Hedvig in New York, where an instant chemistry let me know of our shared commitments. Just watch the video here and you will see how compelling this woman is!
Through Hedvig, I discovered the wondrous Wave Baskets crafted by the women (along with some men and children) of Bolgatanga, Ghana. Here, basket weaving is an art form, and the sensual shapes of these large, handsome baskets had me at Hello. The Baba Tree group has taken the weaving of this area to a new level, rewarding quality work with highly ethical wages and profit sharing. Stories circulate about the Bad Girls Room, where peals of laughter emanate as women and their children work together in a spirit of play.
I’m thankful to Hedvig for being a bridge to this amazing group making baskets which represent an almost musical creativity, the lilting shape of hope, and between each line, the laughter of the women weaving their lives together with ours. What a gorgeous container, I'm thinking, to hold your new year's dreams, to carry this precious connection, to wave like the ocean between us.
All the best to you in 2017,
Susan Hull Walker