Unique Batik Blog

Get your fair trade on!

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Artisan Profile: Kamibashi

sdmake_pplUnraveling the story of Kamibashi is as much fun as learning about their collection of whimsical String Dolls.  The journey began when founders, Kristen Doherty Daniels and Chris Daniels, went abroad to teach English in Japan. When they left their hometown of Chicago to work in the city of Kyoto, they never imagined that their encounters with talented young Asian artisans would ultimately lead them to a new career, a new company, and life in the scenic mountains of North Carolina, but life is full of surprises!  Unique Batik teamed up with Kamibashi at a 2011 trade show, and we’ve been carrying by the String Dolls ever since.

Kamibashi’s products range from cute to quirky, and all are packed with personality.  Made by artisans living in the hill country outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand, the String Doll Gang is a lively collection of characters that also function as keychains.  Each has an embroidered tag with its name and lucky “power.”  Kristen and Chris discovered String Dolls when they first appeared in the markets of Thailand in 2004, and they have worked diligently with the Kamibashi artisans to create characters that appeal to customers all over the world. Each string doll is handmade using one continuous piece of string then embellished with a face and various accessories to give it its own unique personality.  Whether you need Some French Guy to remind you that good food and wine feed the body and the soul or Astroneil to encourage you to take the first step, there’s a String Doll for everyone.

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Tres Estrellas: A Story of Transformation

Guitar String1One of the most beautiful things about fair trade is the way it transforms things. It transforms people who are oppressed into people who have opportunities. It transforms beggars into businessmen. It transforms kids on the street into kids in the classroom. And sometimes, with a little creativity, it turns trash into treasure.

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Mixing it up for Spring 2014


San Antonio Stripe Scarf

For Spring/Summer 2014, we’re excited to introduce a new collection of Unique Batik bags and scarves made in Guatemala. These au courant accessories reflect a couple of spring trends, including nautical inspired stripes and animal print. Mixed with another spring trend — florals — polka dots and leopard print look fresh, fun, and ready to go anywhere. Continue reading