“The hinterland has everything we need; if not, we invent it.”
This phrase, the motto of the Brazilian co-op community where our new sisal rugs are made, summarizes the spirit of the Nordestino – people from the Northeast of Brazil. Living in the poorest region of Brazil and subject to severe periodical droughts, the Nordestino are resourceful, upbeat and entrepreneurial. Our partnership with this community both draws on and fuels that spirit.
We believe that our strong business relationship with the community is the best way we can help them become successful. Rather than simply donating money for their social programs and activities, our business helps the farmers generate their own resources. We pay fair prices for their products and lend our weaving expertise to improve the quality and sophistication of their design capabilities.
The constructions for our newest sisal collection were developed on hand looms by Merida designers in Fall River, MA. The weavers at the co-op in Brazil then creatively transformed the prototypes into machine-woven patterns. Although the designs were created by us, we have allowed our Brazilian partner to sell these patterns in South America themselves. Keeping with our strategy to support the community through business, the co-op will pay Merida a small royalty on all sales they make of our patterns. This money will be used to create a fund to help support the many social and educational programs the co-op provides for its community.
We look forward to reporting on the success of this program and how it has helped the community along on its path to success and self-sufficiency. Merida Partners (customers enrolled in our subscription program) will receive samples of these new items in February. Check back soon for more news, or click here to watch a video about these new items!