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TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS

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A not-for-profit craft shop has, in recent years, opened its doors to customers and artisans in the city of Yangon in Myanmar. “Polemo for Myanmar” (simply known as Polemo for short) was founded as a means of strengthening the local community through craft. As a fair trade shop, it offers handcrafted contemporary products from textiles to baskets and all manners of homeware, focussed on providing ample opportunity to dozens of disadvantaged groups in and around the city. We’ve chosen a few of these talented artisans at Polemo whose crafts continue to have positive impacts on their communities… Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 14.18.14 Flame Tree is a social, non-profit business that specialises in training disadvantaged women the art of sewing. Also based in Yangon, this organisation has spent the last five years teaching vulnerable women of all ages design and tailoring skills, creating a successful line of traditional cushions, colourful bags and contemporary children’s clothes that are all sold through Polemo. Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 14.18.37 The minds behind an organisation called the Selesian Sisters similarly strive to provide opportunities to underprivileged groups through the crafts of textiles. All proceeds made by their products help to fund an orphanage in the hills of Pyin Oo Lwin in central Myanmar, providing schooling, food and other living essentials to the many children who live there. [caption id="attachment_26535" align="alignright" width="600"]Pomelo products, photo by Maro Verli, Oct 2016 (maroverli.com) Pomelo products, photo by Maro Verli, Oct 2016 (maroverli.com)[/caption] The organisation Sunflower Scarfs also sell their handmade goods at Polemo, promoting the Myanmar artisans who use organic dyes in their practices, as well as those who use silk woven from the lotus flowers at the beautiful Inle Lake north of Yangon. For all of these businesses, Polemo continues to provide a great resource for helping to develop the business and administration skills needed to scale up craft organisations and promote great artistry. Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 14.16.58 Operating in a creative industry that is otherwise filled with often low quality, strictly for-profit businesses, Polemo is a hopeful and positive force. Here is an organisation that makes sure to not just take care of their products, but to take care of their people too.   http://pomeloformyanmar.org/


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