Stamford, CT–Sourcing overseas during wartime is always tricky, but it’s extremely challenging when you get product from a nation that your country is at war with. Not only are the logistics in question, but there’s also the issue of patriotism: For instance, will U.S. consumers even want to buy products native to Afghanistan? Nonetheless, North Adams, MA-based Eziba, a cataloger of gifts from global artisans, plans to continue selling handcrafted goods made by Afghans, despite the U.S. airstrikes against Afghanistan that began in October.
The products include lapis and silver items such as belts made by the Kuchi Indians, a nomadic tribe of indigenous people who move mainly among Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India, says John Voelcker, Eziba’s vice president of business development. “They have a tradition of using a silver alloy with Afghani lapis, and all of their goods are sourced through Pakistan.” Eziba also sells lapis jewelry made by Afghan refugees who fled their homes when the Soviets invaded in 1978 and have been moving ever since.
“These artisans have an incredible silversmithing heritage that is their livelihood, and it’s a point of principle for us to continue to sell products from artisans from everywhere in the world,” Voelcker says.