When Ryan and Amy Blair first moved to Malaysia in 2007, they did not imagine that within a few years they would start a successful business that helps people in need in their adopted country. The story of this enterprise began in 2009 when they met Ana, a single mom struggling to raise her two children. In learning her story and struggles, Amy learned there are many women in similar situations who need help to provide for their families.
The Batik Boutique aims to make a difference in people’s lives. They employ single moms as well as others who are struggling to make ends meet. They give a portion of their proceeds directly to needs in their community. They are constantly seeking additional ways to contribute to the practical needs of those around them.
We have the great honor of personally knowing Ryan and Amy. A few months ago they were back in America, and I was able to sit with Amy in a coffee shop (until way past our bedtimes!) talking for hours. Sometimes catching up with someone is not only fun - it's therapeutic. This couple behind The Batik Boutique is precious and their heart for their artisans is moving and inspiring. We're so proud of the work they are accomplishing in Malaysia.
Each of their products is not only hand-made, it's hand stamped. I don't know if it's because it was late that night at the coffee shop with Amy or if it's because I'm dense but it took a few minutes for me to understand what "hand-stamped" actually means. Hand-made? Yes. Check. I get that. Hand-stamped? That term went right over my head until Amy held the bright, beautiful products in her hands and said, "These are hand-stamped. This fabric started out as a white sheet of material. Our artisans literally stamp these designs onto the fabric before it's used to make our products." I held the beautiful fabric in my hands and said something brilliant like, "Shut. Up! What?" I seriously could not believe what she was saying.
If you live here locally, get excited. You can purchase products from The Batik Boutique at the Fair Trade Fair in November. Here are a few of my favorites.
These key fobs come in several different prints, and in my honest opinion should be found in every female stocking this Christmas. One should definitely be found in mine.
These crayon rolls make perfect gifts for kids.
I love how these covers are designed - with lots of fabric so you feel completely confident that the parts you want covered while you nurse (hello postpartum muffin top) are hidden! As a breastfeeding advocate and mother who nursed babies, can I get an "amen" that some nursing covers are too small? Maybe it was just me, but I needed a lot of room to work, and nursing my kids in public was a really awkward juggling act. Some days I swore my babies were "under there" doing The Macarena or something. I think I was far less worried about my "girls" showing while I nursed and more self-conscious about my post-baby belly or back blob being exposed. When Amy showed me these generous nursing covers I gave them a hearty, "heck-ya."
Check out all the great products The Batik Boutique has to offer.
And don't forget to pin your favorite products from their website on Pinterest, so you can come back to them when it's time to shop and help spread the word about companies who are empowering women in developing countries!