Saturday, July 30, 2011


Just a quick note to tell you about Shenaini. Paul and Dorothy, our friends from Fenghuang, took us on a personal tour of their home-factory. From here the products are designed, sewn, stocked and shipped. Also it is in this home-factory where the colours for the embroidery are experimented with and finally chosen. The choosing of the colours was a particularly interesting process. Once the designs for any particular product are finalized, the local embroidery experts, the Miao madams, dexterously set to work bringing forth examples of how each combination of coloured threads work together in the given embroidered templates. With the experimental palette of embroideries complete, the question What colours do you like the best? is floated around Shenaini: Paul and Dorothy, Sharon (the smiley lead hand in the factory), all the workers, the Miao women who actually did the embroidery and, while we were visiting, us! Yes, Paul and Dorothy even asked us which colours we preferred for a large order they were organizing for a company in the the USA! The Shenaini company culture is one that struck us as a very family-oriented one. For the short time we were there, we were made to feel like part of the Shenaini family, with pancakes and all!

One of the things that we were hoping to do by blogging for this trip was to highlight good things that were happening in the communities that we wandered into. Despite our best efforts to learn some local language along the way (mostly to help us find food and accommodation), short of finding folks like Paul and Dorothy, David and Sophie and a few others along the way, we can't find out about these local initiatives very easily. We haven't done a very good job with this part of our blogging. But when we do find folks like Paul and Dorothy who really care about building relationships with and in their community by engaging with the local people and their culture with respect, fairness and a real interest in making a positive contribution we get excited.

We could go on more about Shenaini, but maybe you should just check the website out yourself: Shenaini Website (the link will open in a new window).

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