It was the stories of disabled Cambodians that persuaded buyers to purchase the products displayed at the Hinrich Foundation booth at the Conrad Bazaar in Hong Kong.

Held on November 15, the bazaar was attended by regular buyers who bought the items to support underprivileged Cambodia makers– even if they already had most of the products on display.

Every year, the Hinrich Foundation joins the charity bazaar held at the Conrad Hotel, a deluxe property in Hong Kong. Different booths take the opportunity to sell various products from food and beverage to fashion accessories, home décor and handmade products.

This year, handmade iPad cases, wallets of different sizes and Christmas ornaments in different designs were showcased at the booth.

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The colorful Christmas ornaments, iPad cases made of recycled plastic bags and handmade wallets were the best-selling products at the bazaar.

A learning experience

The bazaar was a learning experience for the Global Trade Leader scholars who manned this year’s booth.

Since the bazaar is attended by regulars, some buyers are not as compelled to buy the items because they’ve already purchased them before. Bringing in new products from Cambodia and even items with interesting back stories from Indonesia, India, Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines at next year’s bazaar will surely entice regular and new buyers.

Good communication is also essential when preparing for the bazaar and during the bazaar itself. While manning the booth, we needed to have a uniform strategy in promoting the products. What we ended up doing was highlighting the fact that the products were made by handicapped people in Cambodia, who were assisted by the Hinrich Foundation to market their products in Hong Kong. Among us scholars, it was also very important to communicate effectively to ensure that our tasks were completed and that our goals were achieved by the end of the day.

Based on observations and discussions with my fellow scholars, having a good spot in the bazaar is also important. The nearer the entrance, the better for us to attract customers, since many booths sell similar items such as Christmas ornaments, recycled bags and scarves.

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Hinrich Foundation Global Trade scholars (from left to right) Charlee Delavin, Olivia Ye, Yen Nguyen and Putro Harnowo pose by the booth of Cambodia handmade products at the Conrad Bazaar in Hong Kong on Nov.15.

In the end, the scholars who helped at the booth, namely Olivia, Yen, Putro, Rahoof and I, were happy to be able to help sell handmade products from Cambodia. Every purchase would surely help improve the living conditions of deaf and disabled artisans in Cambodia.

About the author – Charlee Delavin

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Charlee Delavin is a current scholar of the Hinrich Foundation studying Master’s in International Journalism at the Hong Kong Baptist University. She previously worked as a journalist in the Philippines and has covered politics, banking, finance, trade and the stock market. She wants to pursue a career in international relations, join the United Nations or work for international media.