Arzu Seeks New Distribution
June 19, 2006,
Arzu, producer of high-end, hand-made rugs produced by women's cooperatives in Afghanistan, is starting to reach for broader distribution.
Since receiving USAID funding in 2004, the non-profit organization has enrolled more than 185 families comprising about 1,500 people into the rug-making operation. Weavers, all women, are required to attend literacy classes, as are their small children. The weavers receive payments throughout the 9- to 12-month production process as they meet certain production stages and earn bonuses of 50% upon completion of their orders.
All rugs are hand-woven using natural dyes and finely handspun wool. There are four design collections: Contemporary, Traditional, Tribal and Couture. Retail pricing on the first three groups ranges from $500 for a 2-by3-foot rug to $10,800 for a 10-by-14 piece.
Prices on the Couture Collection range from $600 to $16,200 for similarly sized pieces.