We had such a terrific day with Alice on Thursday, exploring the craft markets and craft shops of Kampala. The first stop was the National Arts Council "Container Village". Each shop is a container, all of them placed side by side in a semi-circle. Resty (in shop #31) is Secretary of the National Arts Council, and part of her role is to help new artists market their work. We had left items for sale with her last year, most of which had sold, and she took most of what we brought this year, on consignment. Even more importantly, she offered to take Alice to the weekly wholesale craft market that takes place every Friday, so Alice can see where she might go
to market her crafts in the future. The next stop was Exposure Africa, another collection of craft shops, and connected with the management there. Their mandate is to help disadvantaged women by connecting them to the market place. But they seemed more interested in having me come back to teach them how to make the same things I've taught the Bitengye ladies than in being of help to Alice. But they did place an order with her. Then we took her to two up-scale craft shops in shopping malls, both carrying the best of Ugandan crafts. "I have seen so many new things" said Alice, at the end of the day. "I have so many ideas for new fashions." After picking up
the "filler" (batting) we have finally sourced out, Alice headed back to Rubingo. She and the Bitengye ladies are going to be very busy over the next weeks, filling orders from several different sources. And I'm pretty sure she'll come up with a few new fashions of her own after her trip to Kampala. I can hardly wait for the first shipment to arrive. And I must confess that we did a fair bit of shopping for Kitambaa Designs too, mostly beads and batiks, that we look forward to showing you on our return to Canada.