The following information is provided by Kristen and Chris Daniels, founders of Kamibashi.
About UsKamibashi (paper bridge in Japanese) is the happy result of an English teaching career in Japan that put my husband Chris and me in direct contact with talented young Asian artists whose works we stumbled across and then immediately felt an affinity with.
In 2003, with our university teaching contracts more than half finished, we decided that, despite the 5 months of paid holidays and our attachment to our life in Kyoto, a move back to the US and a career change was a good idea... and so we started working on Kamibashi.
Our string doll artists are based in small villages in the mountains outside of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. Crafting String Dolls is the main occupation for most of our artisans, which means a reliable income and improved living standards for their families and communities in their economically developing regions. When they are not making string dolls, many of our workers spend time taking care of their families and tending to their vegetable gardens for self-sufficiency. Some have other jobs such as sewing or working in shops and restaurants.
Kamibashi has always practiced Fair Trade principles, which include working with artisans in developing countries (in our case Thailand) and paying fair prices for their amazing work. We have been a proud member of the Fair Trade Federation since April 2012.