An insight into BHcrafts.
From humanitarian to successful business project
BHcrafts is the enterprise, which unites creative humanitarian business and personal development elements in a balanced and successful manner.
BHcrafts produces handmade clothing and decorative items, involving women from entire Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Lejla Radoncic, who started this project in 1995, was coordinator in the refugee center, built by “Norwegian People’s Aid”, after the highly destructive war in Bosnia. It began as a humanitarian enterprise, and today has developed into a successful export-oriented business which is still growing. BHcrafts promotes cultural heritage of BiH, while using its traditions to develop products appealing to the modern market.
The way one humanitarian idea developed into a successful business project
BHcrafts is a unique and successful project. Women are among the greatest victims in any war, and thousands in Bosnia lost their men, their families and their homes, leaving them to raise their surviving children any way they could. Relevant research has proven that the best way to confront this trauma is to give the women the skills and opportunity to move forward. BHcrafts has given more than 500 women of all ethnicities the chance to put the past behind them and to work for a better future.
Synthesis of skill and natural materials
All of BHcrafts products, both clothing and household goods have been enthusiastically welcomed around the world. Media praise the superior quality of hand made products which cannot be produced through mass production.
Ecology, business, self-consciousness
BHcrafts products are made with localy purchased raw materials, thus supporting the economy of BiH. Ecological considerations are taken into account at every stage of production, using paper bags and boxes for shipping and wooden looms for weaving. Our products are a mixture of traditional methods and modern design combined to appeal to the world market.
Results have acknowledged all of this. BHcrafts has successfully cooperated with Agnes B in France for several years. Business connections were established with Gaiam, National Geographic, Neiman Marcus (all in the USA), NR Rapisardi from Italy, Carolijn Slotje Design studio from Netherlands, various small businesses from Switzerland, Germany and other EU countries, as well as Felissimo from Japan. The most important business connection, with Sundance catalogue (the USA), was made 16 years ago, functioning and improving even through some difficult years, as 2008 and 2020
Profits from business income is not shared among stockholders at the end of each year but is entirely used to expand the business. Our purpose has never changed: to improve the lives of Bosnian women and their families. We believe profit will follow as a natural result of that development.
The art of the original
On each BHcrafts product you will find hang tag with the name of the woman who made it. It is the name of Bosnian woman who was, in the first stage, helped to overcome the depression of living in a refugee camp, and after that enabled to earn money for improvement of life for her and her family members.
No ordinary purchase
These are products made with love and care, and your purchase will contribute to creative and business opportunities for marginalized groups of women, from entire BiH. Our aim has never changed – it will only expand further. All this proves that this is not ONLY shopping, but “Shopping with purpose”!