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FOCUS: Charitable Giving the Handmade Way by Victoria Baker ofwww.littlewrenpottery.co.uk


We all like to do our part to support worthy causes and help people less fortunate than ourselves. These days, as a designer-maker selling wares online, there are a number of ways that you can do this easily. You could sign up to something like Craft For Charity where, in exchange for having your shop listed and promoted, you are asked to make a small donation to a charity of your choice via Just Giving.


Alternatively you could become a seller on a marketplace such as Dreamaid. Based in Aberdeen, Dreamaid is the brainchild of Peter McAteer and Murray Cormack who, after visits to third world countries in 1992, decided that crafting and charitable giving could go hand in hand. The website provides a charity driven selling venue for artisans to


78 | ukhandmade | Spring 2011


share their profits with the global community.


The site is similar to other online marketplaces where you can register as a seller and list items. New items can be listed for free and the seller controls what percentage the charitable donation will constitute. When a sale is made an invoice is automatically emailed to the seller containing a 10% sales fee and the chosen donation amount.


Donations go to the Dreamaid charity, which helps artisans from developing countries get online and sell their goods to create a more sustainable future. Craftspeople from third world countries would normally undersell their work but Dreamaid allows them to reach a wealthy global marketplace and sell


their work at a price more reflective of the skill and time it took to produce.


The Dreamaid model is orientated so that people in third world countries can help themselves get out of poverty rather than having to rely on handouts. To date, Dreamaid has worked with skilled local artists in Africa, Thailand, Brazil and Mexico, including its most recent program working with orphan children in Vietnam launching the Friends for Street Children in March of last year.


I asked Alison Rowland of Blue Forest Jewellery, an artisan closer to home here in the UK, why she chose the site as part of her online sales campaign.


Please tell us a bit about your work My jewellery is inspired by the


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