10 Years of 2nd Story Goods: Our Classic Products
It has officially been 10 years of making beautiful handcrafted goods and getting to share their magnificent stories. We want to give some love and attention to the classic products that have been there from the beginning and are still a part of 2nd Story Goods.
10 years ago he approached me on the salt flats in Jubilee. By this time, word was getting around that there was a Blan (white person) in the area looking for people with creative ideas. He approached me respectfully and says “Madam I would like to show you something." Thank Heaven I didn’t blow him off. Thank Heaven I paused long enough to see. Thank heaven this time I did that.
He then reached into his backpack and pulled out a black vinyl covered book. The outside had designs made with rhinestones and an inlaid picture of the palace in Port Au Prince. I opened it up to see what sort of book he had recovered. It was a journal of empty pages. And the pages were sewn into the binder with great care. It was perfect (though I was not a fan of the rhinestones and picture of the fancy building).
So I asked him where he got it. He said he made it. I looked at the careful binding again. "You MADE this? You sewed these papers together like this?"
"Yes. Yes I did. Would you like to buy it? Or buy many of them?" That was the beginning. We quickly found more options for covering journals: rice bags, burlap and then leather.
In the past 10 years we’ve expanded to many different designs, and now products from Benson's workshop are some of our primary and best selling goods! This workshop employs 20 people and is changing the story for families in this neighborhood.
These angels rose from the dump, literally! My earliest days were spent walking and praying and searching for ways to create beautiful things from what we had on hand. Fortunately we worked in the neighborhood by the dump. Many broken dishes discarded ended up there!
We took the pieces, bleached them to clean, and then learned to form them into angels!
Today they remain a sign of Hope and the truth that we our lives are Not Wasted when we add a bit of faith and imagination to the mix!
Uniquely 2nd Story Goods. These Angels shout it ...no matter how broken or set aside we think we are...there is always a beautiful 2nd Story waiting!
3. Batik Baby Bloomers and Bow Ties
We made these Bloomers, no doubt inspired by all the littles around us! The batiking process is heavy on the labor but so big on the beauty! The makers drizzle the melted wax on the cotton fabric and wait for it to dry, then the fabric is dipped into the dye and then another pattern is put down. Repeat! It is a laborious process, but watching the big pieces of hand-dyed fabric drying in the wind at the end of the week made it all worth it. So much pride in the faces of the makers! These sweet bloomers were just one of the many products we made! Enjoy!
After many requests for bow ties we found out that our very own book keeper, Jimson, had a brother who was already hand-making bow ties for weddings and special occasions right here in Gonaives!
So we connected our fabrics with his skills, and voila!
We discovered in the early days that the people that make cooking pots from recycled aluminum, could also make pendants! IT was a big AHA moment! We love that they can be customized to have our favorite words stamped into them. And all of this creates more much-needed jobs and creates these lovely magnets!
You may remember the story i shared about Li pa okipe li. When i asked once about where the father was to a small family of little girls. He doesn’t occupy himself with us, their mother responded. I turned the corner and cried at the insanity of it. I prayed God would show us work for this woman and others in the same predicament. I think that was the birth of these Braided Cotton trivets and rugs. Because soon after that we gathered this small group and began braiding and weaving strips of cotton!
I love this sorry every time I hear. Thank for love as Jesus told us.