Watch UNICEF Market's Handcrafted Holiday Gifts Come to Life
For more than 70 years, UNICEF has been putting children first, protecting their rights and providing the assistance and services they need to survive and thrive.
Every day, UNICEF Market artisans are hard at work, preserving handcrafting traditions that have supported their families and communities for centuries. Their handmade goods are certainly intrinsically beautiful — whether spun from the finest Alpaca wool, shaped from molten Mexican silver or refashioned from tribal textile remnants. But we're just as taken by the people making them.
Here's your chance to meet a few UNICEF Market artisans and go behind the scenes as they create this year's crop of one-of-a-kind holiday gifts.
Anita Contreras was born in an artisan village in Peru’s Ayacucho province. Her parents worked tirelessly to give her an education and encourage her love of ceramics and traditional Peruvian pottery. Anita has worked hard to master the art, happy to pursue a craft she loves, which also allows her to support her family.
Babun earned a degree in computer science. But his father was a silversmith who instilled in him a passion for jewelry-making. So when it came time to choose a degree, it's no surprise Babun followed in his father's footsteps.
Fernando Cano was born in the Macate district of Peru's Ancash department. His parents were field workers who didn’t understand his interest in textiles. But his uncles were weavers who taught him their trade. Over time, he proved to his parents — and himself — he could turn his passion into a promising business. "Thanks to this grand art form, I can provide for my family — and share Peruvian crafts with people everywhere.”
Chirada makes handbags using traditional Thai textiles at a workshop in Chiang Mai founded by her parents. Her specialty: Classic Thai style with a modern twist. Her UNICEF Market collection is a celebration of Thai culture and a preservation of something just as precious: her family’s way of life.
Using textiles she hand-paints and batiks herself, Desak Nyoman Parwati has created a women’s loungewear collection that blends comfort and luxury. "I started by asking my neighbors to come to my place to look at my collection and place orders if they like it. Now, there's so much to do I need the help of several assistants!"