Meet the Artisans
This is Armine
Armine is a working mom with two young children and coordinates a small group of seamstresses in Spitak. Her income is essential to supporting a healthy, growing family. HDIF provides employment to women and their families in a region with minimal job opportunities, after an earthquake in 1988 destroyed their town.
This is Manush
Manush has established a knitting group with women from Goghovit and the surrounding villages. She offers a training in knitting and those who have completed it, are usually employed in her business, Goghovit Knits. These women, including Manush who is physically disabled, use knitting techniques that have been handed down for generations. Manush has helped empower local women with much needed income in a very poor remote community.
This is Lena & Armen
Lena and ger husband, Armen are initiators of Vardenis Sweing, a community hub for locals to buy all household linens and custom-made garments, and to have their clothes altered. A U.S. Peace Corps volunteer helped Lena and Armen get started. Vardenis Sewing supplies HDIF with its entire line of kitchen accessories. Lena and Armen provide vital employment to the women in their local community and are eager to expand their business to help others succeed.
This is Anna, Satenik and Arusyak
The creative team of Yereqnuk (“Clover”) Handicrafts was founded in 2007 by the teachers of Koghb Art School, Anna Nasibyan, Satenik Ghulijanyan, and Arusyak Pashikyan. Each year, they invite ten young artists to study illustration and the fine arts at the school. The students produce leather wallets, bags, glassware, and metal jewelry for Yereqnuk Handcrafts. Koghb Art School inspires young adults to complete their higher education and make a living in their hometown.
This is Zhanna
Zhanna has been crocheting Berd bears and other specialized handcrafted products for four years and is one of the tem’s leaders. She is married with three young children. The income she receives as an HDIF producer partner supplements her household earnings. HDIF employs over 35 skilled and talented women from Berd and the surrounding villages.
This is Gohar
HDIF met Gohar more than five years ago. Impressed with her exceptional crocheting talent, HDIF designed products for her to produce for an international market. Today Kapan Crochet employs a growing group of talented and hardworking women. Though faced with economic challenges, the women use handicrafts as a way to support their families and remain on their ancestral soil, rather than migrating to Armenia’s larger cities or abroad.
This is Gayane
Gayene is the founder of Talin Women’s Resource Center Development Foundation. Several years ago, a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer took the initiative to start a partnership with HDIF. Today this atelier produces finely crafted goods in traditional Armenian taraz, or national dress. These traditionally themed items come as dolls, finger puppets, key tags and even baby shoes. Aportion of the group’s income helpt to fund vital health services in the Talin region.