It's Monday afternoon on a workday as I write this blog post. My co-workers in Cambodia are asleep and in seven hours we will shop virtually together to purchase fabric for the Fall order.
Sinuon, Mach and Nary will arrive at the market by tuk-tuk in the 90 degree Cambodia heat. Our US team will settle onto our couches, start our group text and attempt to stay awake and alert for the next few hours of shopping.
Mach and Nary will carefully sift through colorful reams of fabric at each vendor booth while Sinuon texts us photos to shop from. We will finish fabric shopping after midnight US time and our Cambodia team will wait in the market for the bolts of fabric to be cut and prepared for delivery.
The fabric will arrive later that day at the BYTAVI workshop. Our management team will begin preparing the Fall order while the BYTAVI seamstresses finalize production of the Summer line. Over 1,400 products will be cut to their specified pattern before a BYTAVI seamstress brings the design to life.
Each handbag and article of clothing goes through a three-week production process. A BYTAVI seamstress has her hands in lining the interior, finishing seams, attaching hardware and sewing in zippers. After completing a product she proudly places the BYTAVI label and signs her name on the tag.
It is an honor to have these women seated behind our sewing stations.
From their hands to yours, an item is produced with care and the woman behind it is full of pride, knowing you choose to invest in her work.
We invite you into our processes to share the intention that goes into the production of our fair trade line. We find ourselves in a season of growth. BYTAVI sales are increasing and seamstresses are advancing in the types of products they can produce. As the BYTAVI product line expands, costs are increasing. We want to be a sustainable project and as a result of that we find ourselves in a price increase.
We value you as a customer and supporter of BYTAVI and so we choose to be transparent. Our new retail pricing will include the following costs:
- Hardware and Notions
- Sewing Materials
- Sewing Machines and Maintenance
- Facilities and Utilities
- Teacher’s Salary
- All byTavi Staff Salaries
- Daily Lunch in the Workshop
- Programming/Devotional materials
- Wellness Care
- Fair Wage for Seamstresses
If we maintained our current pricing structure BYTAVI would be unsustainable. We believe and trust God has plans to expand BYTAVI and so we are choosing to grow and change.
It is our hope that you will see how proud we are of the work of the BYTAVI seamstresses, that you will know the care that goes into production and that you will continue to invest in the BYTAVI Project. We are entrusted with these products and will continue to market them with consideration and care, desiring to represent the BYTAVI seamstresses well, because their work is worth it.
In July we will receive the Fall order from the Cambodia workshop to our Warehouse in small town Indiana. We will open all 40 boxes like it is Christmas morning, touching the prints and fabrics for the first time that we chose while shopping virtually in the market. As we unbox, tag and photograph products, we will feel connected to our sisters in Cambodia.
When a BYTAVI product reaches you, we hope you feel connected to the woman who made your piece. We hope you feel empowered, knowing you are choosing to invest in quality, quality of life and a handmade product.
Written by Lindsey Cangany, BYTAVI Brand Manager