On our Way to Kabul...

The Artisan Toolkit

As I write this I am en route to Kabul, where my team and I will be running workshops to launch the Artisan Toolkit - a huge and exciting project we began over a year and a half ago, which is finally complete.

The Artisan Toolkit is a crafts-business manual told in rich visual language and accompanied by audio and video for artisans with low levels of literacy. It has two levels: Level 1 for artisans with a skill but no business plan or training, and Level 2 for artisans with an existing business they are hoping to grow.

We strongly believe that the growing demand for handmade artisanal products presents a huge opportunity for artisans in emerging markets to grow their businesses and enter the formal economy. That being said, artisans in countries like Afghanistan, for example, face a number of impediments when it comes to getting their products to market and becoming successful entrepreneurs in the formal economy. Most significant among these is isolation, both geographic and economic, which creates a lack of knowledge about foreign markets and how to reach them.  The Artisan Toolkit was created to address these challenges, equip artisans with business knowledge, and allow them to reach both domestic and international markets.

Though Far & Wide Collective is a retail business, our commitment to our artisans goes much deeper than just buying a finished product and putting it on our site. Our goal is to help artisans to develop their products and really build their businesses, and the Artisan Toolkit is one part of this.

Come along with us this week as we launch the Toolkit and share photos and stories here on the blog.

To learn more about the Artisan Toolkit and download a PDF copy, visit our dedicated website: www.artisantoolkit.af

 Read More Blog Posts from our Trip: 

Handmade in Afghanistan - Summing up our first two days of training

On Creativity - Unique Challenges in Afghanistan 

Hedvig Christine Alexander
Hedvig Christine Alexander


2 Responses

Damon Taylor
Damon Taylor

April 21, 2015


The NGO with whom I serve as Senior Program Advisor is collaborating with local indigenous women citizen leaders and artisans in Central Mexico to strengthen indigenous and rural civil society in the midst of the two year election cycle through a cutting-edge women citizen advisory board, a women citizen’s development agenda AND a micro-cooperative through which local producers/artisans supply Mexican and global demand for quality local artisan and other products.

Bravo on your toolkit approach; from the little we can find, it is attractive and VERY relevant to our work here in Mexico.

Any chance we could have an offline chat about your toolkit and methodology with an eye to modeling something similar with local partners here?

My work e-mail address is included. Our new and still much evolving english language website is here: http://psydeh.wordpress.com. And/or you can also contact me at dtssp@hotmail.com.


Damon Taylor

Zohra Baraka
Zohra Baraka

March 28, 2015

I would like to work with you.
I was introduced to you by Kathleen.

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