Faire Collection is traveling to the easternmost country in Indochina, Vietnam. Vietnam has a fascinating and rich cultural heritage – dating all the way back to 257 BC with the ancient Hong dynasty, to more recent outside influences from the French and Chinese cultures. Today, the exquisite bullhorn jewelry produced by the skilled artisans in Vietnam showcase this web of influences and a dedication to beautiful design.
|Binh Binh comes from a line of artisans: his grandfather started making bullhorn pieces after the Vietnam war. This small family workshop was turned into a thriving business by Binh’s mother, giving her the opportunity to pay for her children’s education. When Binh finished his schooling, he inherited his family’s legacy. Extremely hardworking and inspiring, Binh, now 26 years old, has expanded his family’s workshop with the help of his wife, Suong. His workshop, located in a 400-year-old traditional Vietnamese village, now has 18 artisans, including 8 family members (who were also born and raised in this same village).Binh’s artisans specialize in creating intricate, handmade designs from bullhorn. Binh’s workshop prides itself in showcasing the best of Vietnamese culture through their designs, and keeping alive the handicraft traditions that have been passed down to them by their ancestors.Faire Collection is Binh’s first “direct” client, as Faire Collection works directly with Binh’s family and not through middlemen who require fees.|
|Huong Huong has been working in Binh’s workshop for 3 years creating bullhorn jewelry. Quiet and gentle, Huong produces finely polished, handmade bracelets. She used to work as a street vendor, but says “my life is much more stable here.”When asked what she likes most about working with Binh, Huong mentioned the flexible position and friendly atmosphere. She lives with her parents and her two sons who are 8 and 10 years old and attend public school close by.Huong is working hard and hopes to save enough money to buy a house, a motorbike, and to have enough funds to cover her children’s education.|
|Thoa Thoa is a family member (she is married to Binh’s uncle) and has been working with Binh for 2 years. Thoa has a natural affinity with the bullhorn – she makes skillfully polished, smooth bullhorn beads.Besides creating handmade bullhorn jewelry for Binh’s workshop, Thoa also works hard on her own small piece of land, cultivating rice to feed her family. She has three children: her 19-year-old daughter is a freshman at Hanoi University while her 16 and 8-year-old sons are also in school.Thoa is very appreciative of the steady work that the workshop gets from Faire – Faire Collection’s fair trade wages allow her to pay for her children’s education.|
|Nga One of the newest members of Binh’s team, Nga moved from her village a few months ago to join Binh’s workshop and is still learning how to polish bullhorn beads.Moving away from her husband, children and parents was an extremely difficult decision for Nga but she is determined to support her family by supplementing her husband’s income. Working with Binh also allows Nga to pay for her daughters’ education. Nga’s determination is an inspiration to other women across Vietnam.|
BullhornFaire Collection recycles bullhorn that has been discarded by local stockyards. Bullhorn is an ideal materials for craftsmen, because it can be molded and sculpted into different shapes by applying heat and water. Bullhorn is also unique in its natural color variation. Each horn has a different combination of colors ranging from white to black, brown and gray tones in between.
Binh - “I now feel more secure in the future of my business. We feel good about working for someone who cares for us. We have a stronger sense of security for the future.”