Friday, September 02, 2005

A cooperative shop in Kigali

Typical merchandising

Peter trying on the hats at Gahaya

Richard modeling the merchandise at Gahaya

While Marla completed the last of our fast runner interviews (bless her stamina) and Anne stayed at the hotel designing scarves (her artist skills are coming in handy!), the rest of the team went off to the markets with Kate showing them her favorite shops (where some of the shopkeepers already know her wellJ). Susan was our tour guide. Susan is another of our translators and has been valuable guide to us. We left every shop with local craft and learnings about available materials we can use in future product. Shops generally have much of the same imported low quality product, targeted to mzumga (foreigners), but you find high quality Rwandan gems in each, produced by local cooperatives.

Peter was once again mobbed by interested photo subjects on the streets of Kigali as he waited for the shoppers. By the end of the photo session he had photos of them and several of us were immortalized in the photo cameras of Rwandans.

At our last stop, a craft co-operative of about 15 shops, Delilah did some power shopping and Kate managed to purchase 7 pieces of antique African art! The rest of the team was more controlled but everyone left with something. One of the shops visited was a fast runner candidate who is producing Rwandan made fabric and jewelry.

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