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Gabrielle commented on Take the sun with you: Trendy solar handbags

Hi Natalia
They are based in Northern Thailand - one hour from Chiang Mai. As far as having access to clean energies I can't answer this aspect unfortunately but yourself and the woman who runs this social enterprise are on the same page with a lot of aspects so perhaps could be a good start for you. I'm sure a lot of knowledge can be shared to make your journey a lot smoother and efficient.

Amor Colombia! I am a big fan of your country having gone their twice. I'll get in touch with my contact who is based in Bogota and will see what she is able to offer.

Will be back in touch soon.

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Gabrielle commented on Take the sun with you: Trendy solar handbags

Hi Natalia.

First off I love your idea. I see that you are looking for local artisans and a fantastic women I met on my travels in Thailand runs a social business with the Karen Hill tribe producing bags, jewellery etc. You can see the range here.

http://riseupshop.com/shop/

The women is a New Yorker based now in Thailand and has done collaborations with US designers in the past. Unfortunately I don't have a direct contact name for you as it was a while back when I was there but you can get in touch via the link above.

Perhaps you could work with this region that she knows well, or I am sure this organisation would be able to put you in touch with some key contacts for you and would also have valuable knowledge on their own key learnings.
As an aside the woman runs the Chai Lai Orchid - an incredible place and also sells directly the products to guests.

So an option could be to look at the tourist market within the countries you are producing the items and to distribute your product via boutique hotels etc...

I am not sure if you have a chosen country you would look to source from or if this would be from multiple countries, however I have contacts that could help if Colombia is a country of interest?

Lastly, an idea also could be to have the option to have the solar part removable. I am not sure how much extra weight it adds, but having flexibility here could be a good option.

Best of Luck and looking forward to seeing your first prototype!