A handmade Christmas present from the SALEM Handmade sewing studio
Every year, the children at SALEM Ecuador receive a special Christmas present and this year is no exception! This year the children will receive a t-shirt, designed and manufactured by “SALEM Handmade”. The conception and production process was long and complex with many different steps which led to visibly great results.
We set ourselves the goal of developing and manufacturing everything ourselves.
Two years ago we gave the children a t-shirt with a Toucan design (which has now become our mascot.) Although these t-shirts were handmade, they were manufactured by a local company. This year however we wanted to take things into our own hands and we set ourselves the goal of developing and manufacturing everything ourselves.
To do the design we commissioned Maricela Guadamud, a young graphic designer who as a child participated at SALEM Ecuador for many years, and later realised her dream of studying graphic design. Maricela presented the SALEM team with three different logo designs for the T-shirts.
“Libertad para Ser” (English: freedom to be).
Each design had its own unique features, but the team finally decided on a simple design that best catered to the tastes of all ages and genders. The circular logo depicts two children arm in arm with the saying “Libertad para Ser” (English: freedom to be).
However, some of the staff were so enamored by one of the other designs that they couldn’t bear to part with it. So we decided to print two designs. The second design shows the word SALEM, (which itself means peace) in the shape of a heart surrounded by our key values such as: peace, love, freedom, community, honesty, respect, trust, friendship and diversity.
Our key values: peace, love, freedom, community, honesty, respect, trust, friendship and diversity.
The printing was completed by an independent company in the local town of San Miguel de los Bancos. The rest of the manufacturing process took place entirely in the sewing Studio of SALEM Ecuador in Mindo!
Our vision it that SALEM Handmade will help to provide a new profession and livelihood for the female trainees and also contribute to the local economy.
The sewing studio is equipped with several industrial sewing machines. For many years we have invested in, and been using this room for our own needle work i.e. to create Montessori materials and to offer sewing lessons for children and adults from Mindo. The genius behind the seams in the sewing studio is Marcela Cruz. The professional seamstress and sewing teacher, employed by SALEM Ecuador, took on the challenge of this project and sewed the approx. 150 T-shirts in collaboration with her parents. In order to be able to guarantee high quality standards we relied onMarcela and her parents to produce the order. Soon we expect more products, such as hammocks and bags, to be produced by the participants of the sewing courses themselves. The sewing studio is not just for recreational purposes – our vision it that the skills learned in sewing studio will help to provide a new profession and livelihood for the female trainees and also contribute to the local economy.
The hand made t-shirts are the first big step towards our long term goals! In the future we hope to complete many different projects and offer many different products under the SALEM Handmade brand!