*UPDATE* We have reached our $9,000 goal (thanks, Backers)! Because we have been asked... YES! We are able to continue accepting pledges until June 14. Thank you!
WELCOME! The Paper Turtle is a partnership between Laura Bruzzese (Albuquerque, NM, USA), and Aly Abraham (Port-au-Prince, Haiti). We design and create paper-mache sculpture using recycled materials.
THE PROJECT - We're ready to grow our partnership into a bigger business! But Aly and I lack the resources to fund inventory and shipping to get our business started. Our goal with Kickstarter is to raise enough money to pay for initial inventory and freight shipping from Port-au-Prince to Albuquerque.
Expanding The Paper Turtle in the US wholesale & retail markets will help Laura continue doing what she loves as an artist; and will help Aly continue his business in Haiti, which supports many other people -- the 20 artisans he employs, family, friends, and the youth he works with (see our web site for info). Creating sustainable work is one of the most effective ways to help the Haitian people as they rebuild and recover... and you can be a part of the success!
THE ART - Paper-mache is one of the oldest traditional arts in Haiti. Working within this tradition, The Paper Turtle creates unique, original, superbly crafted sculpture. All of our sculpture is hand-made near Port-au-Prince out of recycled materials by a small group of artisans who work with Aly. We've developed more than a dozen designs and have even more ready for production. The response to the work has been very positive -- people are asking for more!
REWARDS The Rewards for this project are essentially a pre-sale of our most popular paper-mache sculptures (at below-retail prices). Please see our web site for images.
FUNDING 100% of our funding (less Kickstarter and Amazon fees) will be used for:
- The production of an enormous amount of paper mache sculpture. All artisans in Aly's shop earn fair wages; the bigger the order, the more people he can employ.
- Freight shipping and delivery (+ all associated import fees) from Haiti to Albuquerque.
ALL OR NOTHING If we do not reach our $9,000 goal, we will not receive any funding at all. Your credit card will only be charged if we reach our goal by June 15. Any funding in excess of our goal (should we be so fortunate) will be used to help Laura travel to Haiti to meet Aly for the first time; for future production; and for marketing materials to help ensure the success of The Paper Turtle.
STORY I found Aly's small Haitian crafts business online in 2009 when I was searching for a company to make paper-mache turtles for an art project I was working on. Just as Aly was developing samples, the devastating earthquake hit Haiti. Aly suffered many losses--including the ruin of his workshop, loss of his truck, artisans, and many supplies--from which he is still recovering. He continued working on the samples through the overwhelming aftermath of the quake.
Eventually, our turtle collaboration was very successful. As I got to know Aly, I was so very moved by his story, and a desire to help the Haitian people, that I continued working with him on more designs to sell in the US. It's difficult to collaborate online and by phone, especially when one person's first language is Creole (Aly), and the other's is not (me), but together, we are making progress. Last year, I opened an online store to sell our work, and donated the profits to Aly. Although we have yet to meet in person, Aly and I have become friends and partners.
THANK YOU We humbly and sincerely thank you for your contribution in any amount. We can't do it without you!
Laura & Aly
- (60 days)