It happened years ago, on a crisp summer day when my grandmother and I were walking from the tiny district of Nonsuch to the even tinier district of Cambridge, high in the Blue Mountains of Portland, Jamaica. We were walking by some tall wild green grass, grass which was much taller than a young girl walking beside her grandmother. I reached over to touch the grass but pulled back my hand quickly, and searched to see if the sharp green blades had sliced my palm. They hadn’t. My grandmother searched my palm, too, and when she was satisfied that nothing was wrong with her cherished granddaughter she told me how, as a young woman growing up in Nonsuch, she would use that very same grass to make baskets that were so good she ended up selling some of them. I guess it was in that moment that I developed an almost irrational love of baskets, and so I am always on the lookout for a good basket, which is exactly what I found at the Vietnam Handicraft Company. The company makes furniture, bowls, trays, cutlery, platters, pots, and of course both large and small baskets, and other home goods and fashion accessories, from bamboo, rattan, sea grass, water hyacinth, fern, straw, palm leaves and, of all things, fashion magazine paper and recycled tires.
As I conducted the interview, I have to admit that I was surprised that something aesthetically pleasing could be made from recycled tires, or even fashion magazine paper for that matter. But I soon found myself looking at these coolly elegant baskets and vases. Fastidious home goods shopper that I am, I could immediately appreciate the craftsmanship, durability and beauty in the work. Based in Hanoi, Vietnam, the Vietnam Handicraft Company is a manufacturing and trading company that specializes in making home goods and fashion accessories from natural resources. Says Mr. Vu Duc Hoan, founder of the company, “We use a lot of natural and recycled products in our company, which are local to Vietnam, to create eco-friendly products. We also use a lot of repurposed materials because we are trying to do our small part in protecting our environment and safeguarding our earth.”
Mr. Hoan created his company as a way of providing meaningful income for people living in the rural areas of Vietnam. As he says, “Our country, Vietnam, is still a developing country, and there are many people who still plant rice, for example, by hand. After crop season, many of these people, unfortunately, do not have work, and life for them can become quite difficult. In creating the Vietnam Handicraft Company I was looking for a way for these individuals to continue earning money throughout the year, and I wanted to do this by utilizing the used, natural, or discarded materials in Vietnam.” Such a project, Mr. Hoan believes, “would bring real value to the people of Vietnam while helping us to reconnect with the materials of our country, and the materials discarded in our country.”
I cannot think of a more worthwhile thing to do.
In addition to rightfully taking pride in the products that his company creates, and, indeed, how he creates these products, Mr. Hoan also takes immense pride in the many services—especially the customer service—provided by the Vietnam Handicraft Company. “We offer buyers worldwide complete service: from sampling, to packing, shipping, the opportunity to order smaller quantities in mixed lots, and all of this will be delivered at our customers’ door.Our expertise is manufacturing the right product, at the right price, with the best quality for our customers. We back customers’ orders with our commitment to providing peace of mind to our customers on anything they have purchased.”
A great product, at a great price, with total commitment to customer service, while working to safeguard the environment? Sounds like a winning combination to me. Here is where you can place orders for goods from the Vietnam Handicraft Company: http://vietcraft.vn
Until next time.