Women Artisans Receive Marketing and Commercialization Training

18 of Pixan’s artisan leaders took part in a two day workshop in marketing and commercialization at the AMA office as part of the House of Design Pixan artisan project.

The first ‘Costings’ workshop was led by AMA’s finance and administration team, and after giving an explanation as to what AMA means, what is does and where their funding comes from, they looked at how to create a budget, calculating labor costs and profit, what is a fair price, the legal daily wage in Guatemala, and they discussed what fair actually means.

AMA’s accountant explained commercialization concepts such as what a product is, what a market is and the difference between a cost and a profit. Participants divided into groups and practiced writing out budgets using examples of the kinds of products they make as artisans.

Caty Janeth Garcia, one of AMA’s Community Facilitators who recently attended a week’s training about Visual Merchandising spent the afternoon imparting tactics used to attract buyers and achieve sales. Women had to arrange tables with their own products and receiving criticism and advice from their fellow workshop members who went around in teams analyzing each table. The aim of the activity was to give women an opportunity to practice how to display and sell their products for an approaching artisan event which AMA and Pixan’s members are participating in this month.

Doctor Audelino Sac came in the afternoon to give a presentation about Mayan philosophy, cosmovision, and the origins and meanings of Mayan dress. “I want to highlight the value and importance of our culture and motivate these women to investigate what the symbols incorporated in their dress mean,” Audelino told us. Mayan cosmovision gives us a way of reflecting and analyzing the reality of life and how we see the world and understand it. As a group participants searched for images in a photo of a woven guipil and Audelino encouraged women to do the same with their own dress. Audelino emphasized that contrary to what many Mayans had learnt in school, their dress is indigenous to Guatemala and was not introduced by the Spanish. He also explained the process of back-strap weaving in a historical context and the use of natural dyes. It is hoped that through this conference, women will be able to better incorporate their culture into the products they create and will now have the skills needed to market and sell them.

Ben Blevins