Pacific Island Artistry Goes Global
The dynamic between Pacific Island artisans and Real Impact embodies the best in the human spirit. The company offers the craftsmen and women an international marketplace, using online savvy, to spotlight pieces of form and function, heritage and inventiveness. CEO and Founder Virginia Bruce tells us more about the company’s vision and story behind their CONSIDERED by real line of handicrafts:
What products can buyers expect to see at the NY NOW and Artisan Resource Exhibition?
The global handicraft market is worth US$38 billion but, on the global stage, Pacific handicrafts are virtually unknown. There are 22 island nations with a total population of 12 million, 90% of which are rural and informal communities. REAL Impact, under its CONSIDERED by real brand, will be showcasing the work of Papua New Guinean and Solomon Islands artisans who are proud craftspeople with skills that have been passed down from generation to generation and dating back centuries, including weaving, carving, textiles and basketry. Sustainable access has not been available to Pacific artisans until now.
PNG handicrafts are as distinct as the 800 tribes that inhabit the country, and the artisans who make them are as skilled and dedicated as any in the world. This is what we are bringing to NY NOW.
Products include furniture, artwork, lighting, baskets and billum bags.
Can you please share some of the process behind these products?
CONSIDERED by real believes in the power of good design – it is at the heart of what we do. We have collaborated with traditional craftspeople and communities of the Pacific, partnering them with leading Australian designers to develop contemporary, functional homeware designs. These homewares showcase the unique handcraftsmanship distinct to each region in designs that are not only relevant to today’s lifestyle, they offer something very special to discerning buyers, and ultimately consumers.
Working with the Ialibu weavers from the Papua New Guinea’s Southern Highlands, we have translated the beautiful Ialibu weave traditionally presented as baskets and trays into bespoke stools and lights for export into contemporary homes; traditional carving from Trobriand Island has been translated with the help of Australian designer Darcy Clarke and designers from Gensler Sydney into totem lights, furniture and salad bowls for both contemporary commercial premises and homes. We are working with Isobel Island artisans from Solomon Islands to produce uniquely designed, high-end cane chairs that will be a showpiece in any interior; and Papua New Guinea bilum bags have been sourced from communities across PNG that are truly stunning and wonderfully functional.
CONSIDERED by real is focused on celebrating the human potential within creative collaboration and contemporary design.
What kind of materials are used for these utilitarian pieces?
Everything from our CONSIDERED by real Collection has been individually handcrafted by traditional artisans and ethically sourced from the various communities in the Pacific.
Natural materials include pandanus, yakipu and melaralipu natural vine, kwila wood, cane, bark cloth, and bark twine are commonly used in Pacific traditional crafts.
What do you see in the future for Real Impact?
We would like to see CONSIDERED by real as a global design and luxury brand showcasing sustainable design and living across fashion, homewares, wellness and experiences, providing retailers and consumers the opportunity to access beautifully designed and crafted lifestyle products that add value not only to them, but also the people that make them, through our engineered high impact supply chains.
The CONSIDERED by real brand is currently focused on making sure Pacific artisans have the opportunity to participate in the US$38 billion global handicraft market.
CONSIDERED by real is the e-commerce digital marketplace developed to provide Pacific micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) access to regional and global markets, by providing them with access to shared services that assist them in building capacity, adding value, and being mentored in their businesses. This will ensure that sustainable economic development becomes achievable for Pacific artisans and SMEs, and that the economic and social benefits flow back into the wider community, where it is needed.
Our vision is to secure international retailer partners. We will match buyers with suppliers that are keen to deliver social and sustainable economic development as a matter of course in their business. By working with brands and individuals who bring purpose to what they do, we can leverage creativity, commercial savvy, community engagement and connectivity to realize the potential of people, planet and profit.
Beautiful and utilitarian pieces handcrafted by Pacific artisans will be exhibited for potential buyers at NY NOW’s Artisan Resource February 3-6 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.
For more information and to buy products, please visit: www.realsocialimpact.com.