Not Just Another Trip to The Houston Galleria

The quickest way to know a woman is to go shopping with her.  -Marcelene Cox

There is something enjoyable about browsing the beautiful shops of The Houston Galleria without having to spend a penny. That is just what The Community Cloth volunteers and talented artisans did this past September. We went on a quest to take in all the fall fashion lines, to note the colors, textures, and combinations of trends in order to inspire some fresh craft ideas.  For some of the women this was their second trip to bustling downtown Houston and for others it was their first. It was nice to watch how the Galleria veteran artisans guided their first time friends on how to quickly cross the street when the crosswalk light turned green, how to avoid bumping into others in the crowded passages of the stores and even how to take the perfume samples offered as we passed through the beauty and fragrance departments!

The escalators no doubt brought some smiles to the faces of these lovely women and as we browsed women’s jackets, blouses, accessories and everything in between, the artisans took mental notes and shared ideas of what they could do with their own yarn, thread and know-how. My knitting group left a little early to have time to stop in our favorite yarn store, Hobby Lobby, to pick up supplies in the colors and textures we had just seen on display. It was fun helping the artisans fill their baskets and carts with loads of yarn and even more fun to see how far they have come as they checked out and paid for everything on their own. Each artisan of The Community cloth is eligible to apply for seed grants twice a year as needed. The artisans repay the seed grants by producing products which are then sold on their behalf.

Escalator and artisans

Let me ask you, what do you see when you look at a skein of yarn or a bunch of threads? Do you see what they can become? I continue to be impressed with the women’s ability to work their needles or looms to form unique and precious items that are proudly worn by individuals in Houston and beyond. With patient practice The Community Cloth knitting and weaving artisans have created some amazing scarves, hats, bags and accessories. These items we wrap around our necks, put on our babies heads or throw over our shoulder stand for something incredible. Each fair-trade item sold exemplifies a refugee women’s talent, shares a story and allows for the empowerment of women. I look forward to seeing the items created by the artisans for this fall and winter season. They are even making crocheted rugs now! Stay tuned as we are also about to kick-off online sales through Etsy. Keep in mind, The Community Cloth calendar still has openings for in-home sales events, so book one for you and your friends today! It is a perfect opportunity to get together for some holiday shopping and celebration. Please Email thecommunitycloth@gmail.com if you are interested.

This month, we will be participating in The Hearts and Hands Holiday Art Market at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church  from October 24 – 28, 2011. Stop on by and visit with us to shop the latest Cloth items and much more!

-Krista

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