Vital Voices Global Leadership Network affiliate in Haiti, Femmes en Démocratie (FED), held its annual trade fair Women in Production (Femmes, Création & Production) in Miami, Florida from June 24-26, 2011. The trade fair provides a platform for Haitian women entrepreneurs and artisans to showcase and sell their products direct to retail.
This year’s theme, “Crossing Borders for the Recovery of Haiti’s Textile and Creative Industries,” hints at the importance the event holds for many of the participating artisans. Last year, FED was unable to hold the fair due to the widespread destruction caused by the January 12 earthquake. Historically held in Pétion-Ville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, the fair was moved to Miami this year.
The event was co-sponsored by the Haitian American Chamber of Commerce in Florida, home to one of the largest Haitian Diaspora communities, and was held in the Miami Beach Convention Center. Over 50 women artisans, designers, associations and cooperatives from throughout Haiti and the Diaspora participated in the multi-day event.
Sophia Martelly, First Lady of Haiti, attended the opening reception, hosted by President of the University of Miami Donna E. Shalala. Vital Voices Board Member Diane von Furstenberg hosted a breakfast reception on June 25th.
Read Alyse Nelson’s, President and CEO of Vital Voices, blog post about the trade fair.