Artisan Toolkit - the Road to Market!

Day 1 of Hedvig & the Artisan Toolkit team's trip to Kabul

We have arrived in Kabul! It is not too warm yet and the skies are blue. The city is bustling and the streets are full despite rumours of post-election instability and demonstrations. I get the clear sense that people want a result so Afghanistan can move forward - no one we speak to is interested in taking to the street. "I voted for the candidate with the best plan," says Saleh Mohammad. "We need an economic plan with focus on education and business growth."

We are in town to test the Artisan Toolkit, a business / crafts manual for artisans. It is richly-illustrated and case study based, accompanied by an audio version for artisans with low levels of literacy. We are conducting several workshops and meeting with many artisans. We show them the draft of the Artisan Toolkit and test all the major concepts with them to see what their reaction is: have we gotten it right, do the concepts speak to Afghan artisans and are they relevant to their reality and growing their businesses? Do they like the case studies, the style of illustrations and the examples we use to illustrate costing, pricing, export, design and many other concepts?

The feedback is overwhelmingly positive and the level of engagement and discussion in the workshops is inspiring. Not surprisingly, the women are the most active and demanding. After each workshop we are sent home with a long list of comments, suggestions and requests for additional information. We agree to come back in early fall with the final version of the Artisan Toolkit - equipping a new generation of Afghan artisans to take their businesses to the next level.

Hedvig meets with silk weaver Saleh Mohammad and his daughter

Women actively engaged in Artisan Toolkit workshops


Click here for more information about the Artisan Toolkit. 

Hedvig Christine Alexander
Hedvig Christine Alexander


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