One of the reasons we value our Embodied series so much is that we have the privilege of being able to introduce and connect our audience with some truly passionate, talented, and forward-thinking men and woman.
Nest is an organization with a similar cause: to identify and connect artisans around the world with the goal of reducing poverty, empowering women and seeking peace. We had the opportunity to chat with Britt McVicker, an artist herself, who is involved with Nest to find out more about how the organization is working to accomplish this and also how you can get involved.
Darling Magazine: How are you involved in Nest?
Britt: I am on the Nest Guild Creative Advisory Council and recently collaborated with artisans in Kenya to create a handcrafted tambourine that sold out on Anthropologie and is currently available to buy upon special request at email@example.com.
DM: Tell us a little about your trip to Bali. What was your purpose in going?
Britt: There is authentic local craftsmanship happening in Bali that I wanted to explore and learn more about. Bali is a lovely destination but its the small villages outside the main city where I found the artisans to be the most inspiring and uniquely talented. It’s important for me to create items that are not only socially responsible, but thought provoking. I love the idea of designing a piece that can prompt a story; the people and artisans I collaborate with are a crucial part of this concept.
DM: What is your goal for the August 16th summer soiree to benefit Nest?
Britt: To bring awareness to Nest and their mission. Nest is partnering with the world’s most promising artisans to build sustainable businesses within the competitive landscape of today’s global economy. Simultaneously, Nest is helping artisans to transform their communities through the alleviation of poverty, empowerment of women and promotion of peace.
DM: How does Nest discover new artisans?
Britt: Nest searches globally for artisan partners that have a unique skill set, have leadership and meet their social criteria. Their artisans are located in areas of high poverty or unemployment and Nest gives preference to groups that empower women and bring together sides traditionally seen in conflict, such as Hindus and Muslims in India.
DM: How do they practicality alleviate poverty, empower women and promote peace?
Britt: Nest has identified craft as a means to solve some of the greatest global issues we face today. Believing in the power of the private sector not only to fuel our global economy, but to personally enrich and transform at the community level, too. Nest builds concrete social objectives into every project it undertakes.
Treating every artisan as not just an individual, but as a family provider and community leader, Nest maximizes its impact through the powerful ripple effect that job creation has been proven to engender time after time. Nest estimates an additional 20 lives touched for every one Nest artisan employed.
DM: Who are the artisans that helped create your bybritt pieces?
Britt: The hand woven jewelry pieces are made by yours truly, and the handcrafted tambourine was made in partnership with Nest artisans in Kenya. The beading was done by a group of women in Nairobi, and the brass frame is entirely hand made in an artisan workshop in Kibera, one of Nairobi’s largest informal settlements.
DM: Why should people be conscious of where their products are sourced from?
Britt: The question that I would urge one to ask themselves is “what do I stand for?” Where a product is sourced and how it is made is equally as important as how we act. Being a positive role model, listening more or volunteering with a local organization is impactful. It’s about doing what you can no matter how small [the action is] and doing it to best of your abilities. Goodwill is contagious, and we each can play a part in paying it forward.
Goodwill is contagious, and we each can play a part in paying it forward.
Make an impact with Nest artisans in Kenya!
$25 provides one set of hand tools for a jewelry artisan apprentice
$50 provides two sets drill polishing heads to refine jewelry production
$100 provides twenty Polishing compounds
$500 provides one hand held flex shaft with a variety of polishing heads
$1000 provides one new soldering torch kit
Images via Nest artisan leader Petra Fitzgerald