We hope everyone is enjoying their holidays. Earlier in December, we held a contest in which the winner received our entire red and white collection. Here’s a couple pictures from the winner’s home.
The time of year always makes us feel a little nostalgic, perhaps it’s because we’re traveling to see loved ones or thinking about the ones we can’t see. And as the new year approaches, we’re thinking about the past 12 months and wondering what the next year will hold. As an ode to memories and special times, several Wisteria employees filled our Black Shadowbox with items from their past.
We view our artisans as partners and look for like-minded organizations that are just as committed to their employees, community, and the environment as they are dedicated to great quality and interesting design. The company below lives up to our expectations and makes some of our favorite items including our Did Someone Say Drama Candleholder, Fleur de Lis Iron Shelf, French Shopkeeper’s Shelves, and Bird Nests.
This company in particular bases their success on how much they can contribute to society, which to them, is the ultimate meaning of life. The chairman has business operations in over 30 countries around the world with 1,500 employees. Besides being an entrepreneur, the chairman helps society understand the vitality of education. He was forced to quit school at a very early age in order to provide for his family and yet he still persevered. He sensed the low conditions of education in his town with so many parents working and neglecting their kids’ education. Education, he firmly believed, is the cornerstone of success.
In 2002, he founded the MinHou Taojiang School, participating in the construction of the classrooms and student apartments, and purchasing the necessary technology and equipment. He recruited more than 70 teachers to come work and about 500 students are expected to receive a good education. The establishment serves as a benefit for most of the factory workers’ children.
Not only is he providing education for children, he is also creating job opportunities for the unemployed. Furthermore, he participated in a bridge project in the Fujian Province. It is an important bridge that connects the Nantai Island and QingKou. Once it is completed, it will be the longest and widest bridge of the city zone in the history of Fuzhou.
Fuzhou is located in the northeast of the Fujian province of China. Although it is unknown when the city was founded, in 202 B.C. the first wall was built after the king of Minyue received permission from the emperor to set up a city. It was named “Ye” meaning “the beautiful.” The city is also gifted in many types of crafts.
Recently several people from Wisteria traveled to India to find new products, meet with some of our artisans and gather fresh ideas for upcoming catalogs. Here are some photos from their time in Jaipur!
Now that Thanksgiving is over and we have worked our way through the leftovers, we were ready to get in the kitchen again and start preparing our Holiday menu. While browsing at the local market we were happy to see a large selection of squash available. Butternut squash is a seasonal fruit that is wonderful roasted or in casseroles, and also we discovered it adds a flavorful addition to soups and bisques. This bisque is adapted from an old Southern Living recipe we have loved for years. It works great first course for a Holiday dinner party and makes a wonderful presentation in our soup tureens.
Curried Butternut-Shrimp Bisque: Ingredients: 1 pound fresh shrimp, 3 tbsps. unsalted butter, 1 large yellow onion, chopped, 1 ( 3 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into cubes, 3 (14.5 oz.) cans chicken broth, divided, 2 tsps. curry powder, 1 tsp. dried thyme, 1 cup whipping cream, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper.
Directions:Peel shrimp, devein. Set aside. Melt butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat; add onion, and saute until tender. Reduce heat to medium; add squash, and stir occasionally, 15 minutes or until tender. add 1 can broth, shrimp, curry, and thyme, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Let cool slightly. Blend mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Return mixture to saucepan; add remaining broth, and bring to a boil. Stir in 1 cup whipping cream, salt, and pepper; reduce heat to low, and simmer 5 minutes. Garnish with whipping cream.This recipe was photographed in our Crown Soup Tureens.
Anybody who sees a beautiful, handcrafted piece gets a sense of joy, because somewhere in it lies the essence of its creator, the artisan. In 2003 Living Dreams Foundation was born, dedicated to the cause of artisans in developing countries whose skills and effort most often get forgotten. With the vision of creating business leaders out of producers, Living Dreams focuses primarily on women, trying to empower them economically and socially, ultimately alleviating them out of poverty and teaching them the skills to become leaders in their own communities. Starting out as a workshop for 25 women from a slum near Delhi, India, Living Dreams began the journey to mentor each member, taking her dreams and turning it into reality. This was done through special training that ranged from fine tuning handiwork to teaching basic business management, to life skills counseling and coaching in home economics. In addition, Living Dreams sent at least one child from each family to school and ensured that all children were getting basic care and adequate nutrition at home. Today Living Dreams has transformed many of our women dreamers to leaders and given them the confidence and knowledge to make a difference, not just in their own lives but also within their communities.
Shafia is such an example. Illiterate and living below the poverty line, Shafia joined the workshop five years ago with the dream of being able to own her own house for herself and her family. Through dedication and an unparalleled willpower, she made it happen and today lives in her own two-room home, which she is immensely proud of. She is also the senior supervisor of the Living Dreams production team.
Living Dreams Foundation incorporates many more aspects that affect the well-being of the artisans. “De-Plasticize!” is the newest campaign taken on to stop the use of plastic bags, one of the harmful results of which is witnessed by the women everyday as hundreds of cows die by swallowing plastic bags mistakenly. Donations may be submitted to Living Dreams Foundation, 123 Oak lawn Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75207. Please specify program: Environment/ Skills development/ Children/ Community development. 100% of your donation will go towards the program specified. A 501(c ) (3) organization.
For more information about the the Living Dreams Foundation, visit their website: www.livingdreamsfoundation.org