Statement from Rachael Storaas, Co-founder of Pomelo.
This message was earlier sent to all the community of producers and I now wish to make it public for full transparency.
What is Pomelo?
We are a not for profit social enterprise, working with disadvantaged people, artisans and small family businesses in Myanmar to co-design, develop and sell quality handmade products with a contemporary twist.
We provide creative design input, skill trainings and supported access to an international market place to help our producers earn a steady income. Our empowering approach allows customers and producers to enjoy and benefit from unique Myanmar handicrafts.
Pomelo’s producers are a community of over forty groups, families and individuals who, as disadvantaged people, artisans or small businesses have taken a new opportunity to build fulfilling, healthy and sustainable livelihoods.
OUR DESIGN PRINCIPLES
Codesign, Prototype & Test
We brainstorm together, prototype, exchange ideas, study materials, test, get feedback from customers, and sometimes we start over again! Our process is definitely not linear. We often go back to square one to re-design something that is more attractive for the customer allowing us and the producers to improve and learn valuable lessons.
Attention To Detail
From materials to craftmanship to attractive shop display, quality control is really important to us. Pomelo must constantly meet the high standards that customers expect. Our producer community learns that quality is a key component of their design and determines successful and sustainable sales.
Every single one of our products is made by a Myanmar person. We take pride in sourcing and using local materials. We are currently focusing on going a step further and creating partnerships that promote sustainability, for example, encouraging producers that work with textiles to buy directly from the weavers.
Design is our most valuable resource.
Through design we empower a large community of people in need and transform their lives.
Our business model is succesful in creating prosperity and generating sustainable change.
Its been now three years since we first met U Sein Nadi, he came in a rainy afternoon to our first shop with a bag filled with beautiful tablerunners, we bought them all! This was the beginning of a successful partnership with talented weavers from Rakhine State. U Sein Nadi and his sister coordinate and transport weavings from 5 remote villages where over 26 women work to supply the store with their beautiful and intricate crafts.
At Pomelo we believe in the importance and potential of collaboration. Collaborations with other social business and non profit organisations have been part of our growth since our very beginning. Last year we began developing partnerships within the private sector including a particularly successful one with Coca-Cola.