We were on lock down in April, so we closed the office and shop for one month.
Now we are back to work but there are no customers so we can not afford the rental and we decided to close permanently, two of our retail shops in Hanoi. It is so sad.
Export is slow, we had previously placed orders but most of these are reduced or delayed as the buyers could not receive the products in this situation. So, it is very hard actually. But by the end of this month, all the buyers have asked us to send shipment so we hope things will move on, even though very slow. We are very worried and are looking for ways to help the artisans.
For the artisans, we are trying our best to support them. We give them free masks to protect themselves when they are back to production after the Social distancing period. They have much less income from craft sector as we can not sell much locally at the moment, all the flights are still cancelled to protect the community.
For the ethnic artisans in the mountains, at least they still can subsidize themselves as they have land. They still have food from agricultural products and food from raising cattle, etc. But they lack cash income from handicrafts. Now we are trying to support them to sell agricultural products to the local market.
For the traditional village artisans, such as with ceramic, lacquer, wooden, textiles..., we still can maintain some income for them through our export channels, but much less than before.
We think it will take at least 6 months more before we will have some tourists and customers who are interested in buying gift items again. Now, we are trying to promote online sale to our local Vietnamese customers. So, we must change the design and product development to meet with the demand of the local market.
Our artisans need work now so if you can place any orders, that will be highly appreciated. The weavers now do not have work, so please help them, thank you!
Warm wishes from Hanoi