Husband and wife team Phuoc and Hung (pictured in the first photo above) live in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, and create our unique baskets and totes out of palm leaf and recycled paper. They depend on orders to support their two children attending school in Ho Chi Minh City.
Phuoc and Hung sew baskets in a workshop created by Lan (pictured in the third photo above), an ambitious artisan who originally began her craft by making palm leaf hats to support her family, who was very poor. Slowly she developed other kinds of products using natural fibers, and when our partner Mai Handicrafts visited the Mekong Delta in search of basket artisans, they found Lan and were impressed with her innovative products and social vision.
Through her natural fiber product sales with Mai Handicrafts, Lan bought some land and built a house which also became her workshop. Her husband raises cows on the land and grows coconuts and bananas for additional income.
Lan now has ten workers (including Phuoc and Hung) and sources materials from local farmers. She is passionate about supporting her neighbors with employment in sewing or braiding palm leaf. She hopes business improves further so her workers can have income throughout the year.