THE ARTCAMP COOPERATIVE ARTISANS
HAVE ALWAYS BEEN INTENSELY LOYAL
TO RENICE JONES AND GLOBAL CRAFTS
GLOBAL CRAFTS ACTS AS IF THE ARTISANS COOPERATIVE IS A PROFITABLE BUSINESS
LIKE THEIRS, AND THAT OUR MAJOR MOTIVE IS MARGINAL-PROFIT. JUST LIKE THEM.
THIS IS NATURAL TO THINK THAT THE OTHER IS MOTIVATED BY WHAT MOTIVATES ONE,
HOWEVER, IN THE CASE OF ARTISANS, WHAT MOTIVATES US IS SOMETHING LIKE LOVE.
IT IS SIMPLY NOT THE MONEY-MOTIVE IN A SMALL VILLAGE, YET WE NEED TO SURVIVE.
Even if there were NO such thing as MONEY, artisans would make things, beautiful things, adornments… traditional artisans are NOT motivated by money.
The families need to eat and so the artisan is forced to adapt in order to survive and
take care of one’s family, the artisan has to get money, but it isn’t money that makes
The artisan get up in the morning, yes, but it’s not like the commercial merchant who devotes efforts into ‘capitalizing’, that is, accumulating more capital, and this usually
involves using the extra money to gain power of other people, and to use that power in
a way that makes more money. Power over people is what drives the commercial motor.
But craftswomen in little villages on the southern-escarpment of the great Mexico-altiplano
are NOT striving to take power over other people, rather: how to take care of our children.
We women want to get along with each other, to avoid strife, we do not want to compete;
we are working cheap enough, let us create and don’t tell us that we must endure the vagaries of the market, so called. That’s your job. You are our distributor, aren’t you?
You are the one who has access to the market, aren’t you? And you can’t say haven’t
made a good amount of off us; you know how many pieces you bought and sold.
You have made hundreds of thousands of dollars off us, and we wish you would make hundreds of thousands of dollars more profit in the coming years.
Why can’t we do that?
Why did you pull back? Instead of investing in us? Instead of believing in us? Why? when
we gave you every proof of our diligence, our faithfulness, of our willingness to serve you.
Was it too much to ask we get a tiny little piece of cheese for letting you use our name?
Its a good name too. Or, at least, it was. Traditional indigenous handcraft artisans.
We artisans provide what you commercial-merchants want: a handsome marginal-profit
turn-over the merchandise, taking advantage of low standard of living, and the low costs.
This is fine. We have no problem with this. It’s capitalism, isn’t it? We should make a deal.
You use our good name, but you have to treat us better and give the people their jobs back
because it was not right the way everyone was surprised, so that mistrust took hold among the craftswomen of two villages and one woman in the provincial city of Taxco, Guerrero.
It’s me, again,
with my two-cents worth…
When Global Crafts orders slacked, I offered to help to promote the Artcamp product, encouraging Renice to talk with her customers, to see what they have to say. To think in terms of a promotion; some way to increase their production order, so as to include the families who lost their employment in January 2017. However, she told me to get lost.
Ms. Renice, I am pretty sure you have NO idea what it means to be poor and to not know where your food will come from tomorrow. To have a steady job – however humbly paid – where one can work at home with ones family; at home, where one is safe, and does not have to spend money on transportation to go look for a job or to migrate to Mexico City
or to CanCun or to the United States. To take the people’s work away like that, isn’t right.
Renice, let me remind you that I never contacted you from February 2010 until
March of 2017 and this was because several families I know well were suffering.
So don’t act like I was trying to “get into your business” when I was only trying
to help find a way where these could get their household income back.You can say “it’s the market” that did it, that you have no control over what you sell, however other businesses hustle a little when someone is hurting; other businesses
have a sale or a promotion or purchase google ads, but, no, Global Crafts want profit
without having to work for them; they want their Fair Trade license to do all the work.
If you knew what it means to be poor, you would have been much more considerate
with these craftswomen, they gave you their loyalty and believed in you
whereas you think of them solely in terms of the amount of they make for you.
Sorry to come off as holier-than-thou; I am fighting for justice for these gals, that’s all.
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