I am a freelance writer and diversional therapist, living in Brisbane's North West. I write for Weekend Notes, Must do Brisbane and Starts at Sixty. Visit my blogs at babybloomin.wordpress.com and brisbanetripster.wordpress.com.
Published August 29th 2015
You'll have summer in the bag with these baskets
An array of beautiful colours
A trip to Burma in 2012 saw Sandy Banister and her husband falling in love with the country and its people. Doing a spot of shopping during her holiday, Sandy purchased a colorful handwoven basket which attracted a lot of attention back home in Australia.
In 2013, encouraged by the huge amount of interest in her basket and with the help of two Burmese women, Sandy began shipping these unique baskets to Australia for sale.
Each basket is handwoven in a small Burmese village
Since then, she has returned to Burma four times and her business has grown as these durable baskets have become more and more popular. The Mingalaba-me baskets are skillfully woven from plastic pallet straps in an array of beautiful bright colours that certainly catch the eye. They are bought directly from the weaver, who is paid a fair price for his work. As the popularity of the baskets has increased, the original weaver has now employed four other weavers from his village to help with the workload.
When you purchase one of these handmade items, the flow on effect for this small village in Burma is real and, in small ways, enables the community and its families to improve their lives. Nice to know that whilst you are enjoying your new basket, you are helping others in another corner of the world.
What's so special about Mingalaba-me baskets? The most obvious point is the beautiful range of bright and vibrant colours that are used. Each one is unique, being handmade, and the plastic pallet straps that are used in the weaving ensure the finished product is strong and durable. Great for shopping, picnics, the beach, swimming baskets, market shopping and much more, they are perfect for our outdoor lifestyle here in Australia.
Sandy sells her baskets at various markets including Brunswick Heads, Byron Bay, Bangalow, Kingscliff and the West End markets in Brisbane. They are available in four different sizes and in a hard or soft finish. Check out her Facebook page for market dates.
With summer approaching and the great outdoors beckoning, why not pick up a unique Mingalaba-me basket, knowing that your purchase is doing something good for a small village in far off Burma? In case you're wondering about the name, Mingalaba is a traditional Burmese greeting roughly translated as "auspiciousness to you".