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March 8th is International Women’s Day, possibly the best holiday ever! International Women's Day is a global holiday celebrating women and their achievements throughout the world.
The Holiday began in the start of the 20th century, when women had very few rights yet was not proclaimed an International Holiday till 1975 by the United Nations! The purpose of International Women’s Day is to celebrate how far women have come in gaining rights and to work towards a more equal world for all and in my opinion it encourages women to stand proud and give themselves a little “Heck Yeah” cheer.
Many countries throughout the world do not have the same luxuries as the US and don’t have fabulous leaders like Margot Dorfman fighting for them in Congress to push the ‘Women Owned’ initiative. In many countries there still lies a large employment gap when it comes to opportunities for women. Often overseas women's employment opportunities come with poor working conditions, unequal pay and no benefits. Huong Wolf grew up in such a world and she strived to start a company that valued all of its employees equally and gave everyone a fair wage, good benefits and safe working conditions.
About Quilling Card
Quilling Card is a ‘Woman Owned Business’, started by Huong Wolf, in her home country of Vietnam in 2011. The concept behind the company's starting was to revive the lost art of quilling, bringing this beautiful artform to the masses alongside the mission of providing quality employment to women in rural Vietnam. Huong said, “I was inspired to start Quilling Card because of my desire to preserve and share the lost, ancient art of quilling. My vision was to create a Quilling de Maison (house of quilling) and nurture a holistic, inspiring lifestyle for women artisans. The practice of quilling encourages creativity and produces meditative effects—qualities that can provide benefits such as reduced stress and improved emotional health, even beyond working hours. A typical punch-in & punch-out culture—as seen throughout most businesses—would not have adequately fostered the positive and joyful spirits which shine through each handcrafted card”.
Quilling Card Today
Today we employ over 500 artisans in our Fair-Trade Certified Ho Chi Minh workshop, 99% of our artisans are women. We strive to provide opportunities to women from rural backgrounds who have had little access to education. We offer all who wish to train a paid full course in the art of quilling. When hired our artisans are given abundant opportunities to move up into supervisory positions. We take pride in paying our artisans a significantly higher rate than that of the Vietnamese minimum wage. Women and men are given a benefits package that includes healthcare and women receive 6 months of paid maternity leave.
Quilling Card is a proud participant of the HER Project. This project is based around the concept of empowering women through programs/services within the workplace. The Herproject works with low income women who work in the global supply chain to help improve their health, well being and financial stability. When women have control over their own money and health they are able to make better decisions for their families and their own future.
Working towards an inclusive future
At Quilling Card we continue to be a leader in the quilling industry, we are working diligently to innovate within this artform; we want to make it more accessible to a greater audience. In 2020 we launched the ‘Hand to Heart Project’. This line of artistic Braille greeting cards was inspired by a group of our artisans who are deaf. We wanted a way for them to communicate using their hands to an entirely new audience that is underserved in the greeting card industry, the blind.
Using their hands, deaf artisans carefully coil, shape and manipulate colorful paper strips to create artistic braille greeting cards—designs that will reach the ﬁngertips and touch the hearts of blind recipients. From creation to reception, the sense of touch alone is an important aspect of the story, but even more importantly the emotional value that is created through touch. The deaf quillers and the blind recipients are able to share a connection through touch unlike any other.
The Braille Greeting card collection is just another way we continue to grow and share the ancient art of Quilling with new audiences daily while employing and empowering women around the globe.