Meet Andre, one of the featured artisans in the SPRING 2017 Maker's Box! At HDC, we train and employ artisans with the skills and resources they need to be successful both professionally and personally. We work as a collective of artisans - with 3 in-house teams and 4 partner teams from the community that work as part of our Artisan Incubator Program. Andre was one of our first partner artisans, and in terms of our HDC family mentality, we like to think of him as our wise father figure who has a rich depth of knowledge and expertise to share with us in our efforts to create quality work, quality goods, and quality relationships.
As a highly valued member of our HDC family, we want to take a moment to share Andre's story with you!
Andre has been crafting ethically-gathered horn and bone for over 34 years. He runs an artisan cooperative in Port au Prince that trains and employs over 30 men from the community. He is originally from Jacmel, a beautiful beach town a few hours south of the city, but moved with his uncle at the age of 14. His uncle had been working with horn and bone for years when he taught Andre the craft. Andre was quick to pick it up and began expanding on the skills his uncle taught him in his hours between school. Over time, he grew to have his own business and line of products.
However, the earthquake in 2011 destroyed his original shop. With some support, he was able to build a new shop that has since grown to be a large artisan cooperative where Andre and his team create products for retailers to sell across the world.
One of the most inspiring and humbling things about Andre is his heart to empower others. He is community-minded and views his knowledge and his workshop as something beyond just himself. He is passionate about training a new generation of leaders with the skills they need to be independent entrepreneurs, claiming that his space is "a place for all the people." Their work is a beautiful showcase of the talents and designs inherent to the people of Haiti, and they seek to use their products to elevate this beautiful island in the minds and hearts of people around the globe. A few of the products we work with Andre to create are the much loved horn bangles + hoops, demi circle + drop pendant necklaces, and the horn bowls + dishes.
Andre is featured in this season's Maker's Box alongside our in-house leather team. You can learn more about him and the leather team, as well as receive a thoughtfully curated collection of their products in the SPRING 2017 MAKER'S BOX (order deadline for spring is April 1st). Boxes are available for individual purchase or year-long subscriptions. Each season, we will release a new box highlighting our different in-house and partner artisan teams, giving you a meaningful look into the process, people, and products behind each unique craft!