We in Sweet Midlife Land are really excited and honored to be able to tell you about something fantastic that Macy’s is doing, besides them having seriously awesome home stuff and equally awesome sales on said stuff. Along with social entrepreneur Willa Shalit and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, Macy’s has launched “Heart of Haiti”, an initiative that helps the people of Haiti in the wake of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that injured more than 300,000 people, killed over 250,000 and left more than 1 million people homeless in 2010. There have been many organizations that have reached out to assist the nation’s recovery, but Heart of Haiti differs from many of those. Using what they call “Trade-not-aid”, Heart of Haiti focuses on Haiti’s artisan community, which at 400,000, is the largest sector of employment in the country. Those individuals rely solely on their handcrafted goods as a source of income, and Macy’s has teamed up with them by selling some of those goods through the store’s Macy’s Gifts That Give Hope line, which features products that give back to the communities that make them. Heart of Haiti offers really, really beautiful handcrafted pieces of home decor that liven up your house while also providing sustainable income for the artisans that produce them: Each artisan receives 50% of the profits for each of their pieces that are sold. That’s fair trade, and it’s pretty amazing.
As part of writing about this line, I got to check out a piece from the collection, the Jonas Sunflower Metal Lantern, which can be used inside your house, or outside on your patio. Watch this video of artisan Jonas Soulouque, who crafts these lanterns out of recycled oil drums. Really. Watch it. It’s amazing.
Beautiful, right? This lantern is pretty much one of the nicest things in my house. Our decorating sense is a little funky, a little eclectic, and a little bohemian, and when we bought our house 4 years ago, we planned on turning our family room into a hip but comfortable hangout. Then we found out we were pregnant the day that we closed on our house. Over the years, the cool pieces that we have as part of our home decor have been joined by blocks, toy trucks, and plastic drums. We have been working to reclaim our style among the toddler’s stuff, and the Jonas lantern is a good entry back into adulthood. I put it on our back deck in front of the internet-inspired bench that I made out of cinder blocks and 4x4s. The Jonas lantern really adds an easy class to the place. See?
It’s really stunning, and definitely stands out in the very best way. I am so excited to have it as part of our summer entertaining. You should get one, or any of the other pieces of the collection for that matter, to liven up your own house or give as a gift (Weddings! Graduations! Housewarmings! Whatever!), and you can find them all here, or at select Macy’s stores. It’s a great way to support a recovering nation and its artists, while also adding to your home’s beauty. That’s more than win-win. It’s Mega Win-Mega-Win. Is that a word? It should be.
Disclaimer: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with a product for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.