Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What Products to Create with Women in Need Would You Recommend?

 I just erased everything I just spent the last 10 min. writing. It was all about balance, how to do it (still don't know), how to channel my time (horrible at it), and how to make the most of my day (getting better). Now that that is out of the way I want to ask you some questions.
Here's my dilemma:
I have been blessed with the opportunity to do some product design for a mission team that's traveling soon. They are going to be working with some women in a South American country to hand make items to sell here in the U.S. Now the problem the team has is that what these women have made in the past doesn't sell as well to the US market as they'd like. So they brought me in to help them brainstorm products that these women can make.

What we have to work with:
The women are excellent stitchers. They have the patience and skill to execute fairly intricate work.
They are willing to do production work.
They sound like they have an awesome attitude and really want to make sell-able goods.

Now the challenges are:
Their color choices in the past seem a little too bright over here.
They don't have easy access to mail or shipping.
They don't have easy access or the money to purchase high end supplies.
The volunteers have to be trained to teach the women the product construction.

The goal is to have them make a product or number of products that can be sold both online through a Christian gift company and can be wholesaled to the non profit gift boutiques that we have here.
The price points would be under $50.

NOW, what gift item that can be stitched by hand would you purchase? I gave them free access to any of my designs, like the wire flowers, wire words, mini art quilts etc. But heavy wire isn't practical for the mission team to carry in with them. So I'm brainstorming. What would you buy? Small quilts? tea or coffee cozies? fabric jewelry? embroidered tea towels? What about nicely done place mats? or hair accessories?

What sort of thing would you buy for your friends' birthdays? And what color combinations appeal to you most? I'd love to know what you all think! It would really really really be a blessing right now to know your opinions!


Jennifer said...

How about small decorative pillows and ornaments? They would be lightweight for shipping purposes. Things with a smaller price point sell better. Just a thought.

Jolene said...

Here's something that I would buy...stitched birthday buntings and pennants. Plus you can get away with a bit more garrish color choices.

Diane said...

I think purses would be a great seller.
Women would love them!

Anonymous said...

I see a lot of ideas at Craft Gossip. If they can knit, there are cute ideas there.


Jen said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these ideas! Thank you So much for taking the time to comment! You guys are seriously cool!

Isabel said...

I think ornaments and little hand heldpurses:O) What an awesome cause:O)

Nicole Maki said...

Coasters, celebration banners, nicely decorated napkins (linen?), mug rugs, stitched felt toys - like fake food or cute animals...

Good luck with this. You're doing a wonderful thing with these ladies.

Anonymous said...

You didn't specify the country so it's hard to know what is available to work with. A good marketing agent is valuable. Presentation is everything, after all. Native materials are easier to acquire and native designs easier to learn. Just pass their own art through the North American preferences in order to modify it. Good Luck.

Frances said...

Girls' hair accessories and monogrammed pendants are hot right now.