Special to the Record
This Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Filberg Lodge gift shop features the Cambodian silk collections of Floating Stone Enterprises, a local fair trade company headed by Courtenay entrepreneur Lynda Drury.
“We appreciate how Floating Stone has collaborated with individual businesswomen in Cambodia to design and manufacture these exceptional pieces,” commented co-ordinator Val Graham. “Our gift shop has as part of its mandate to support local entrepreneurs who practice fair trade. This is one way we show we are part of the community by giving back to the community though local and global initiatives.”
The silk collection that will be available at the Filberg Lodge ranges from deep jewel-tones to subtle earth-hued silks fashioned not only into scarves, but purses and bags, jewelry roles and pouches, baby shoes, shawls, and even Christmas ornaments. But there’s more.
“When Floating Stone first got started, it was never just about buying and selling beautiful fairly traded silk accessories. It has always been about finding ways to be useful to some of the poorest of the poor, in a country ravaged by war, genocide, greed and corruption. Importing from the heart,” as Lynda says, “means importing with a social conscience.”
In January 2011 Floating Stone returned to Cambodia with Thierry Vrain, a soil scientist, organic farmer, and one of the founding members of Garden’s Without Boarders. The trip examined thee possibility of using the permaculture methods to start growing mulberry trees, which provide the leaves for silk worms to feast on. The resulting Golden Silk Farm project will contribute to restoring the growing of silk in Cambodia. Next year, Lynda will lead a North Island College study group to Cambodia to participate in that project.
Last year, Drury help raise seed funds for a project that included technical training for self-sustainable gardens in a few of the villages of Dambok Khpos commune in Kampot province, Cambodia. Villagers there were trained in sustainable agriculture and marketing. The first demonstration garden is flourishing and a second is coming along well.
A third demonstration garden has received direct help from the Soroptimist International Club of Courtenay who, inspired by Lynda Drury’s efforts, recently donated a small sum for a micro-loan fund to assist a new farmer until her farm is solvent and sustainable income is being generated. “Once a farm is producing, the loan can be repaid in small installments,” writes Drury. “This way the same funds can be used over and over again to assist people who previously had no hope of owning their own business.”
As a continuing supporter of this important work in Cambodia, the Filberg Lodge Gift Shop’s one-day special event features the Floating Stone Enterprises silk collection, as well as the opportunity to speak with Lynda Drury and learn about free trade, sustainable farming projects in Cambodia, and how your dollars help support these initiatives. It’s all from the heart.