Crafters Expo showcases handicraft ‘made in Pakistan’ | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Crafters Expo showcases handicraft ‘made in Pakistan’

Pakistan Press Foundation

KARACHI: With 130 participants displaying their handiwork, Crafters Expo was rich in its exhibit of handicrafts and other artistic products, ‘Made in Pakistan.’ The event was held at Royale Rodale, Karachi on Sunday, December 1, 2019 and was an all-inclusive affair which hoped to encourage creativity as a way of channelling positive energy.

“In a country where we are in the news for all sorts of stories, it’s imperative to change the narrative and shed light on the impact of social change, uplift and genuine empowerment as a community,” said Varah Musavvir, the founder and organiser of Crafter’s Expo.

The participants consisted of primarily women, of which 85 per cent were under the age of 30, while the rest included persons with Down Syndrome, hearing impairment or speech impairment. The main aim of the event was to showcase the efforts and hope of those who are just starting out and are home-based as the hashtag goes #HappinessIsHandmade.

The exhibition featured brands exhibiting blockprint clothes – reminder of a dying industry – truckart-styled shoes, truckart-themed kitchen items, paintings, digital caricatures, handicrafts, intricate jewellery and some great-smelling soap and other herbal beauty items stalls. There was a special designated area for khousuay, homemade granola bars, brownies, tarts and pastries which added more colour to the expo.

“The turnout was amazing, the response has been wonderful. The marketing of the event was very beneficial for my brand. I was a first-timer and my experience with Varah was something I will truthfully cherish,” said Samreen Yamin of Samreen’s Art, who was also presenting her work at the expo.

While the Crafter’s Expo may appear to be like any another exhibition, it caters exclusively to handmade work that is designed and produced by local initiatives and start-ups. Participants of this expo work towards the show for four excruciatingly long months in which they undergo mentoring and also training workshops prior to the event. A creative team helps the participants go over the design, branding, marketing and also pricing.

Musavvir, also referred to as The Firefly Girl, is the brains behind not just Firefly but also a community under the name of The Crafter’s Guild, which hosted the expo. The Crafter’s Guild was founded in 2012 and works with individual brands through workshops, craft shows, pop-ups, collaborations and vocational training programs too. Founded in 2010, Firefly is Pakistan’s first bespoke gifts and greeting cards brand, which is a powerhouse of quirky, catchy and creative products created and inspired by life’s most auspicious moments.

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