East West Creative - our story
In 2006 Sarah and I went to Mongolia to work with a charity. Whilst we were there we met Bill & Irene, who were setting up a charity called "Lost Sheep", to provide employment & work with traditional artisans by promoting their products. This morphed into a trading company called "Mary & Martha Mongolia" (MMM) which started by making fridge magnets on the kitchen table of their flat.
After we left Mongolia in 2009 we kept in touch, as we liked what the company was trying to achieve and the values that they have embedded from the start in this enterprise:
- The products are beautiful, using traditional designs, motifs and techniques to create vibrant works of art. This keeps traditional skills alive in a marketable way.
- All product designs are refined and improved over time, with tweaks and improvements being added as MMM learn from customer experience.
- The products are practical - I bought my Wall Hanging Computer Bag (Office Bag) in the summer of 2014, I've still got it and used it most days until 2018, when it was retired..... This bag had been to Asia on many trips and had survived a number of airline storage options, as well as extensive travel in the UK.
- MMM and its suppliers trade ethically. MMM is a registered trading business, pays it workers a good wage (plus sales incentives) and pays its suppliers 50% of the Mongolian shop retail price. It also pays its taxes! This is not the norm in this sector. We would not work with them if they were not ethical!
- These products bring change. As of September 2017 MMM employed about 10-15 warehouse and shop staff, together with providing a sustainable living for an estimated 250 employed and self-employed artisans across the country. One day, Bill, one of the MMM Directors, asked one of the staff what change working for MMM had brought to her and her family in her first year's employment. Her reply - "this winter we ate every day". The previous winter there had been many days with no food at all.
- The products bring stability - in a land of much un-employment, and few job prospects, this business can dramatically improve the lives of the staff and artisans by providing a fair days pay for a fair days work. The hand embroidery work is particularly accessible for women at home, thus directly benefitting the artisans and their families.
We hope that you find what you are looking for today and find a handmade, ethically traded attractive item that helps changes lives in Mongolia.
If like our website, please take the time to write something nice on one, or more, of the many review websites.
If you spot any errors or mistakes, please let us know, so we can get corrections made.
You can keep in touch by looking at/following us on:
Instagram - eastwestcreativeuk
Facebook - East West Creative
You can meet us in person - see the Fairs pages for details of the Craft & Gift Fairs we will be attending in 2020.
You can email us at:
Colin & Sarah Wilcock
21 February 2020