Friday, June 5, 2009

Another Long, but Good Day in China

Mike is having a great time in China, but I bet he is going to crash when he gets back! Here is some of what he had to say:

"Another long and grueling day. But again very productive. Here's a photo of one of the sewers that works on our products. There were 2 that were working with our products today. [The factory manager] explained that the best sewers do our products because they are the hardest ones to do. They were a lot of fun to interview!

Then went for a fancy lunch with the managers of the factory and another one of their customers who buys scarves. All dishes I had never had!

In the afternoon, went to the hand hemming village to first work out a process with the hand-hemming supervisor to talk about pricing and how we can document that the hemmers would get their increased pay. We're targeting a 25% increase over the market rate. Then went into this marvelous old house where we interviewed the women. They were quite chatty and spoke so openly about their lives. Here's a photo of the hemmers."

It will be great to see all the videos and pictures when he gets back.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Chengdu Waldorf School

By Mike
June 2, 2009

Chengdu. Once a starting point of the Silk Road, it is now a tourism draw of its own with the Panda Breeding and Research Center not far from the city. It's also a bustling city of 3 million people. The Chengdu Waldorf School. What a different sense of calmness w once you step onto the grounds. The teachers and children were all so welcoming, going out of their way to call me over to be included in their mid- morning snacks or to join the kindergarten at play. While the language was different, the gentle play of the children, the circle games, and the sword making projects reminded me so much of my own children's Waldorf kindergarten days.

Today is my last day here. I've been speaking with Harry Wang about starting a craft business of hand-painted silks that we could help market but with revenues going to benefit the school. The last hours were spent on those tedious, but necessary details of business records, packaging, labeling, and shipping.

I had brought some of our silks as gifts for the kindergartens and these were eagerly examined and put into action. What fun! I was touched when the teacher tenderly folded up and put the rainbow silkscape away at the first sight of a child pulling on it. She seemed to think it was too precious to keep it out.

One of the funnest moments for me was when I was asked to come to a kindergarten teacher training meeting at then end of the day to teach them string games they had seen me do.

It's been a great time- just wish I wasn't so jet-lagged! Now it's off to another ancient city of silk - Suzhou.

Here are two pictures from the School. They are both pictures of the kindergarten. One is inside at lunch just before they sang a blessing. The other is a playhouse outside in the courtyard.

Here is a picture with one of our silkscapes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Streamer Sale!

Hi Everyone! We are having a summer sale for our retailers on one of our most popular (and one of my favorite) items - our beautiful silk streamers! Summer is the perfect time for these fun toys. Take them to the beach, the parks, the family bbq, or running around the back yard. They were always at a great price point, and for this month only, even better! Take 30% off any order of 12 or more in any one particular style. Choose from rainbow, star or heart. And don't forget to use the promo code: streamer09.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Maker Faire 2009 was a Blast!

by Jay Jay
We had a great time at Maker Faire last weekend! I went to the fair Sunday while Sarah and Carol manned the booth on Saturday. We had never gone to this fair before, but it just sounded too fun to pass up. It certainly exceeded all our expectations. There were arts, crafts, techy and green projects from all kinds of creative people. The energy there was truly catchy. If you've ever read The Celestine Prophecy, you may believe that if you are close to someone who is feeling a particular surge of emotion, you can feel it too. That's how it seemed to me at the fair. The whole place was buzzing with excitement, creativity and happy vibes. What an inspiring Sunday for me!
We came up with a little project for the kids who visited our booth. We had a dye your own silk station that was a big hit. I loved working with the kids as they flexed their creative muscles and came up with some really beautiful designs. Thanks to everyone who stopped by - we loved meeting you all!

Gerard, the Paella Guy from Sebastopol. I STILL didn't get to try his paella!! The line was way too long, and I had to man the booth.

This giant snail shot fire out of its antennna!

A crazy sculpture made from empty plastic soda bottles