Posts tagged #fair trade

Is this fair trade?

I am not a member of Fair Trade, I don't exactly know how or what that means. I do know that this week I was able to pay all my debts to the companies I work with in Haiti, totaling over 1,000 (US) which was pretty darn exciting to me. This means I get to buy more things to add to the website for you to come and purchase. That means more people are employed and earning and decent LIVING wage.

A living wage is more than survival, its more that 5$ a day, its more than not knowing where your next meal is from. Christmas is a beautiful time, there are lights and gifts and sometimes even snow. There is a baby in a manger and a reason for this season. A king who came to live and die for our sins.

But Christmas can also be a dark, difficult season. Poverty and desperation can bring out the worst in people. Thank you for supporting us so we are able to support companies in Haiti. Companies that in the the thick of the desperation. Mothers and wife's, husbands and close friends of mine who have made sacrifices of thanksgiving with families and Black Friday shopping in order to provide some one else a job. They gave up comfort to make a difference in the desperation.

But do not think they do this alone, you play a special role in this circle. Through your purchase with us (and possibly other "fair trade" organizations) you are providing a living wage, putting food on a table in a little house of a family down on a little island called Haiti. You could be paying for a school uniform, books or even tuition for a month with your purchase. But hear me, you are playing a part, you are making a difference. If all that isn't fair trade, then I'm not sure what is.

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for supporting us. Know it does not end here, but goes far beyond our doors. Happy shopping...tis the season.

*Pictures courtesy of Papillion Enterprises.


Hello and welcome to Cedar and Cypress Designs! My name is Tara Thorn and this is my retail home. I recently uprooted my life in Haiti and moved back to America where I am now putting roots down in Minnesota. Although I am recently from Upstate New York, there is some one whom I love deeply and plan to spend the rest of my life with in Minnesota, I am.

I came up with the idea for Cedar and Cypress Designs earlier this year. It was a difficult decision to leave my job and my life in Haiti and move back to the states. Haiti has been my home for five years. I learned a great deal there and met some of the most amazing people. (If you would like to read more about that journey, check out the blog I kept while living there here.)

When I made the decision to leave Haiti, I didn't want to just walk away. There was so much I had seen and experienced while I was there, I knew it would stay with me forever. Haiti is full of poverty and heartache, but it is also full of beauty and joy and promise. I believe Haiti has a bright future and although I might only have a small insignificant role to play in that future, I am going to play that part with my whole heart. I believe we are called to do great things in this world. I believe in hope and redemption and love. I don't believe (at this moment in time at least) that I am called to stay in Haiti and employ Haitians like so many people have done and do well. I do however feel called to share some of the beauty that those organizations are creating. That is where the heart of Cedar and Cypress Designs stems from.

The companies we purchase from in Haiti are socially economic fair trade businesses. They have their roots in Haiti, doing great stuff amidst the poverty and difficulty. Cedar and Cypress Designs is a door way for you to help us do our part. Don't underestimate the power you can have on another mother, sister, daughter, or father in another country. Each piece is hand made in a joyful environment, we hope you have that same joy when ordering your favorite piece.

Be sure to check in regularly for updates, news, and of course more products!

Posted on June 26, 2015 and filed under Cedar and Cypress.