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Hoi An Floods

It has been very tough few weeks for our friends and Artisans in Hoi An. The floods in Central and North Vietnam have been devastating.  The rains began in early November and have continued to create havoc sincehoi-an-floods-1

News reports indicate at least 13 people dead in the recent flooding,  The most recent deaths, which occurred on Saturday in Quang Nam, included three drowned children. Hoi An town is in this province

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There has been shortage of food and some of our partners have been stuck in their homes/offices for days. The floods have also resulted in significant economic loss to the local people with tourism almost coming to a stand still.

Our Lantern production has also been on hold for the last 1 week. However, the flood waters are clearing and the hardy and resilient people of Vietnam are getting things back to normal.

hoi-an-floods-4We hope and pray for all the people who have been impacted by the floods and we will continue to support them as always

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Amazing Kutch

I have been travelling the world and meeting Artisans making some of the most beautiful handicrafts. It is always good to meet thesekutch2 wonderful people and I never fail to admire their resilience. In the rkutch8ecent months I have been in India, I have made a few road trips. My own journey of exploration of my beloved India, to feel and to cherish the beauty of the people.

India is one of the top Handicraft producer and exporter. No wonder there is just so much it has to offer both in material and design. My recent visit was to Kutch Region of Gujarat State in Western India. I met the village Artisans making distinctly Kutchi style footwear, clothing with their unique and colourful embroidery, handbags and homewares.There is a thriving export market and the quality of the products was reakutch-picslly admirable. We will be starting our own trading in some of these products soon. In the meantime, if you need ankutch9ything specific please reach out and we will be happy to organise it for you

The Rann of Kutch, the ‘White Desert’ is one of the best trips I have made…look forward to going back there soon

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Sampan News: Changing Horizons

In the past 6 months Sampan and our suppliers have been relentlessly working towards making our customer service best in the industry and we have received many positive reviews. We have also introduced new and beautiful products includingTF Crushed Green 2 the tree free paper bags, handmade Longpi pottery and handmade bags from water reed

Nut-BowlOur products are currently sold in almost 20 retail stores in Australia and New Zealand and also available for purchase on The Good Spender website, giving our producer partners exposure to a wide customer base

We are now poised towards a major change and growth phase. In the next few months, Sampan will become a hub for Ethical and Eco-friendly products and brands. In addition to the brands we currently sell, new social and ethical brands will be introduced. Our aim in the long run is to make Sampan a marketplace conceptIMG_4302

Vietnamese Homewares
New Green/Gold Range

In April, we will launch our new brand bamboo & silk and a new website focused purely on Bamboo and Silk products only. This new service will operate out of Vietnam and ship globally to our end customers. We are excited about our new brand and the prospects it has for our producers. The best part is, all order processing, shipping and also customer interaction will be done by the producers and or their representatives

 

We will set a benchmark in transparent pricing, shipping and customer service. More in the coming weeks….stay tuned

The Brand and The Team……..

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St. Valentine comes calling

Most of us know the history associated with Valentine’s day. Though in today’s modern world context it is more materialistic, opportunistic and non committal. At Sampan we send our Valentine’s day wishes and our love to all our Artisans and our NFP partners who we love and support

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When St. Valentine was sentenced to death for preaching and practicing his faith, little did Claudius know that the very occasion will become a reason for such a huge celebration of love. We encourage you all to express your love towards everything you believe in and everything important in your lifeCover-image-Bags-Crushed

Our small effort in supporting and encouraging various social enterprises and NFP by providing business process improvements, creating meaningful employment opportunities and providing a platform to showcase and sell craft is already showing results and we hope our commitment of love on this day will make the life of our loved ones better in the coming year

We have a range of gifts for your Valentine, made from recycled, reclaimed and sustainable resources. Every purchase helps the maker_Ring-Kettle-with-cupsWater-H-bag-Punum-2Water-Reed-Bag-3_Single-Frame-Heart-2

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Chinese New Year 2016: Red Fire Monkey

Lantern from Hoi AnThe 2016 Chinese New Year Day is on February 8, 2016. This day is a new moon day, and is the first day of the first Chinese lunar month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar system. The exact new moon time is at 22:40 p.m. on 8-Feb-2016 in China’s time zone.*

Almost 20% of the world population will celebrate the Chinese New Year and we are part of this celebration. The team at Sampan would like to wish all our beautiful craftsmen and producers in Vietnam and China a Very Happy New Year. Thank you for your support and producing the most wonderful handicrafts for us and for our customers.smile

Our Silk and Bamboo Lanterns have been well received by our retail and corporate clients for their homes and events leading up to the New Year.Large Lantern copy

For Sampan,  2016 is the year of ‘Action’ and we will be launching our new and unique website based service purely focused on enabling our Artisans to sell their craft to the world not just Australia. We will keep you all posted.

*Insight: 2016 is year of the Red Monkey . The Chinese name of 2016 in the Chinese Horoscope calendar is Male Fire Monkey.Chinese apply Five Elements (Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth) into the Chinese calendar.  Male Fire is in the Fire group. The colour of Fire is connected to Red. Monkey is the calendar character corresponding to Monkey. Therefore, 2016 is the Red Fire Monkey year (courtesy: www.chinesefortunecalendar.com).

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Christmas Time: Watch your Ethical Index

It is estimated that billions of dollars will be spent on Gifts and related products leading up to Christmas this year. It is a good time for you to make a difference. When you buy a Fair Trade or a certified Ethically sourced product, it directly benefits the producers and their families. The Fair Trade premium you pay is negligible when compared to the social impact your purchase makes. We will be exhibiting our products in the KPMG and Deloitte Fair Trade markets in Melbourne next week (30th Nov and 3rd Dec 2015 respectively)Photo-E

 

Our range of Tree Free gift bags from India, recycled paper gifts from Laos and handwoven bags for Women from NE India will surely satisfy the most discerning customers

All our products are available on our website, so don’t hold back and make sure your gifts have a very high ethical index this festive seasonCover-image-Bags-Crushed

_Ring-Kettle-with-cups bag _Coasters-round-2 _Single-Frame-Heart-2

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‘Sampan Gifts and Homewares’ at AGHA Melbourne Show

Sampan Gifts and Homewares will be exhibiting at the Home & Giving Fair at the Melbourne Showground from Saturday 1st August to 5th August 2015. The Home & Giving Fair is organised by the Australian Gift & Homewares Association (AGHA) to provide the gift and homewares industry with the latest product on the market. It is a trade only event and admission is free to registered buyers.

We will be exhibiting our  new range of products and gifts which are fair trade or ethically sourced from South East Asia and India. All our products are made from natural, recycled or renewable resources.

Crushed bag small (1)Our new range of handcrafted paper gift bags are not only beautiful but also Eco-friendly and Exclusive. They are made from cotton rags and other bio degradable agriculture waste products by Sri Aurobindo Paper. The organisation is run by a mix of volunteers and paper craftsmen supporting the local economy and helping in reducing poverty. They follow Fair trade practices and high ethical standards of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.

The ladybug and porcupine tape measures are both portable and practical, they make great little gifts and come with the benefit of knowing you are supporting impoverished communities and disadvantaged groups. Made by refugee women in the Hai Phong region of Vietnam, and sourced from a not for profit fair trade organLadybug and porcupine tape measuresisation.

Some of the other products on show will be our range of recycled paper gifts made by the Lao Disabled Women’s Development Centre. These include, photo frames, tissue boxes, trivets and coasters.

Come and see our range of bowls. We have handmade coconut bowls as well as a good range of bamboo bowls in a variety of different colours and sizes.

Our every popular silk lanterns are very beautiful. They are also handmade and feature gorgeous silk fabrics in amazing colours and patterns. These lanterns make perfect decorations for many occasions and are very eye catching.

We would love to meet you and hope to see you at the trade fair:

Stand AF 12 (Avenue Pavilion)
Fair Trade Zone
Home and Giving Fair
Melbourne Showground

1st August – 5th August 2015

visit us

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Sampan at the Home & Giving Fair

Silk lanterns and ethically sourced gifts.

Sampan Gifts and Homewares will be exhibiting at the Home & Giving Fair at the Sydney Showground from Friday 20th February to Tuesday 24th February 2015. The Home & Giving Fair is organised by the Australian Gift & Homewares Association (AGHA) to provide the gift and homewares industry with the latest product on the market. It is a trade only event and admission is free to registered buyers.

We will be exhibiting our range of products and gifts. The products are fair trade or ethically sourced from South East Asia and made from natural, recycled or renewable resources.Ladybug and porcupine tape measures

The ladybug and porcupine tape measures are both portable and practical, they make great little gifts and come with the benefit of knowing you are supporting impoverished communities and disadvantaged groups. Made by refugee women in the Hai Phong region of Vietnam, and sourced from a not for profit fair trade organisation, these women have learnt the traditional craft of this region and are now able to earn a living.

Some of the other products on show will be our range of recycled paper gifts made by the Lao Disabled Women’s Development Centre. These include, photo frames, trivets and coasters.

Come and see our range of bowls. We have handmade coconut bowls as well as a good range of bamboo bowls in a variety of different colours and sizes.

Our popular silk lanterns are very beautiful. They are also handmade and feature gorgeous silk fabrics in amazing colours and patterns. These lanterns make perfect decorations for many occasions and are very eye catching.

We would love to meet you and hope to see you at the trade fair:

Stand X13
Fair Trade Zone
Home and Giving Fair
Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park

20th February to 24th February 2015

Sampan Trade Fair Exhibit

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Sampan Bowls Featured in Modern Home Magazine

Australian Modern Home Magazine Cover

Happy New Year. What a busy Christmas and New Year we have had, starting the New Year off with two pieces of good fortune.

We had a great day at the Sussex Inlet Duck Derby on Saturday, capped off with our duck coming third in Race 2, netting us a grand total of $50.

Even more exciting news our lime green bamboo bowls have been featured in the latest edition of Modern Home magazine.

 

Modern Homes Cover Bamboo bowls featured in Modern Home MagazineFull set of eco friendly lime green bamboo bowls in different sizes and a platter.

 

Just to add to the craziness we have opened up a shop at Bayside Emporium, 67 Owen St, Huskisson over the New Year. Bayside Emporium is a great collective of small businesses like ourselves, open 7 days a week in the heart of the beautiful south coast. More on this later.

 

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Trip to Vietnam

100% silk scarves

I made a whirlwind trip to Vietnam last week. I found some amazing new products whilst visiting a trade fair in Hanoi where I met some amazing Hmong ladies from the north of Vietnam.

The Hmong culture is expressed through the growing and harvesting of hemp. The bark of the hemp plant is stripped, twined, dyed using plants and then woven into clothes and bags before delicately embroidering. Without this skill the Hmong would not have clothes to wear. Hemp also has a spiritual association. Each person sets aside a special set of clothing for their burial, believing that the hemp fibre can guide their souls in the afterlife search to find their ancestors.

After a crazy 2 days in Hanoi I made a trip to Hoi An to visit our lantern supplier. It feels like coming home staying in Hoi An, and I never tire of walking the magical streets of the old town.