Sandpiper Imports offers a unique & classic collection of .925 sterling silver jewelry that reflects the traditional craftsmanship and rich creativity of Balinese artisans while fully supporting fair trade principles.
Nyoman, the founder of the silversmith artisan group I work directly with, was a child laborer who began working in a silver shop at the age of 6 to earn money so he could go to school. The conditions in the shop he worked in were rough. Nyoman and his brother, Made, worked very long hours with very little pay and a bully of a boss who was verbally and occasionally physically abusive. Despite the hard years of working in a difficult environment, and balancing schoolwork with the stress of extreme poverty at home, Nyoman was a dreamer who loved much about the silver business, who loved talking to the customers that came into the shop, who carved out precious minutes of the day to furtively draw designs for the jewelry he one day hoped to create. He graduated high school and enrolled in university. In his last year at the university, he heard someone calling out his name in the streets. It was a customer from his former employers shop, a woman who came to Bali to purchase jewelry every year that Nyoman had grown close to and to whom he had confided his dreams of one day owning his own silver shop. The customer offered him a generous loan for start up capital and so ten years ago, Nyoman was able to start his very own silver company, with his brother and a childhood friend. He built a living compound with gardens and temples right next to his workshop where the single male artisans could live if they chose so they wouldn’t have to commute so far from the distant villages where they were from. He developed products that his women artisans could work on from home if they had small children to attend to. He ensures that each and every one of his artisans earns more than the average living wage in that area of Bali so that all of their children could go to school, not to work. He’s grown to employing 12 artisans full-time and I am proud to have him as a partner in my business.