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Wall Street Journal - Article


GLOBAL PRODUCTS PLACEMENT PROJECT

OUR MISSION, SIMPLY STATED:

To create new avenues of revenue for underprivileged working groups around the world by improving or developing more marketable products suitable for increased production capacity and placing these products with sponsor companies to increase long term sales, thereby increasing work capacity.

THE FOUNDER:

Victoria D'Angelo founded Design Development Team, Int'l Inc. in the mid 90's, originally as a research vehicle related to product development for the Fashion Industry. As a knit wear designer, her own label was used during an association with the Norton McNaughton Company prior to becoming independent in early 2000, then transitioning into home textiles as D'Angelo Home Collections, Inc. and Victoria D'Angelo Interior Collections. Her inspiration for creating this new approach to product development to the global market began with the Lace Ladies of India.

Reference: www.dangelohome.com, Press Releases, Profile, Lace Ladies of India

THE ORIGINAL "TEMPLATE" PROJECT:

During a more recent phase of product research for her home textile company, D'Angelo Home Collections , a new area of interest emerged via an introduction to Mrs. Aruna Seth, who has been working in southern India with a small group of village women making beautiful, old world bobbin lace products. The Venetian, Point Milan or Rosaline lace and Cluny lace products were, for close to 15 years, being exported to the US to one particular store in New York City by Mrs. Seth. The unfortunate death of the store owner resulted in a 'disconnect' to the "lace ladies" and reduction of product sales. The introduction of Ms. D'Angelo to Mrs. Seth was fortuitous, and an agreement was struck in November 2004, before the Tsunami disaster took it's toll. The plan, to market the lace products through D'Angelo Home Collections, has now come to fruition and the new 'collection' of products made by the lace ladies is expanding rapidly. The unique nature of these laces is not typical of products normally found in villages, this being attributed to the arrival of Belgian missionaries in the early 1800's. Local girls attending school at the convents settled at that time learned the art of bobbin lace making, and it has been passed down through the ages until present time, still being made in two convents. However, the number of 'ladies' or schoolgirls had dwindled to almost nothing, and with the death of their main customer, they sought out new sources able to purchase the lace. This lead them to tourist hotels in resort areas, especially in Sri Lanka and other resort areas. Unfortunately, the Tsunami had a great impact on them - the facility or "unit:" where much of the lace was made was destroyed and the stores purchasing the lace products were swept away. Ms. D'Angelo is now the sole contact for sales of these beautiful, distinctive laces and is working with Heritage Lace in cooperation with Mrs. Seth to increase production to enable the lace ladies to again practice the skills no longer taught anywhere else in the world.

Reference: www.dangelohome.com, The Lace Ladies of India.

EXPANSION OF THE PROJECT BENEFITS THE LOCAL COMMUNITY

The goal ultimately is the increase of sales of the products to enable the small group to expand and teach more local village ladies the art. This accomplishes several goals:

  1. The existing lace ladies can again produce sufficient quantities of lace to meet their income requirements.
  2. The art of making these technically difficult but exquisite lace is preserved and will not go 'by the boards' as an ancient art replaced by machine made laces common today.
  3. Other local ladies can join the "lace unit" and have employment incorporating other skills into the overall product development of the group, such as embroidery, beading, sewing, crochet, weaving, etc. This allows willing workers the ability to create income even if they are not able to learn lace making, really relegated to the younger women with clear vision and steady hands.
  4. Instead of receiving charity due to the Tsunami disaster of their area, they can create a future with potential for increased income in a local area close to their families and children and have a security never previously known.
  5. The competition to creating lace products are companies making inexpensive 'trinkets' of shells, coconut and local materials to be sold in small towns and tourist areas, smoking and peeling cashews or making very dirty, rustic type broom heads, all of which are not particularly clean or safe environments for the 'ladies'. The lace unit offers a clean, safe environment composed of local women, or the safety of a convent for the lace making girls learning the art. Increased sales will result in increased income per piece and the elimination of the need for the lace ladies to look elsewhere for a few more pennies a day to feed their families.
  6. Most important is accomplishing the goal of helping this community and the Lace Ladies be more self-sufficient and assist in creating avenues for future security, resulting in increased self-esteem, self-reliance, family security, community contribution and, in this case, the preservation of an art form at risk of extinction. Charity alone is the precursor to a welfare mentality, The ability to create and produce income is what grounds people.


THE FORMULA FOR SUCCESS, APPLIED WORLDWIDE:

Design Development Team International has created a working 'template' to help artisans and villagers in any part of the world. The first group, these Lace Ladies of India, has been the formula for helping local villagers create products suitable for sales in areas never before possible. This is how the formula works:

  1. Groups of workers making products of local materials who meet basic criteria are reviewed and their products analyzed for potential markets outside of the traditional markets previously approached.
  2. A committee of experts will review the existing products and companies who would like to sponsor one of the village groups. The local products are 'redesigned' or altered, if necessary, to be more suitable for outside markets without destroying the integrity of the products or placing undue demands on the workers' skills & environment.
  3. The connection of the product, production capacity, growth potential, etc and the sponsoring company is made and a product is developed or designed specifically for the village group. The sponsor company agrees to specific terms in regard to the quantity of production purchased based on initial capacity, and underwrites any purchases or development deemed necessary, i.e., purchasing sewing machines, building a shelter or kitchen, purchasing in advance sufficient raw materials for the group to produce the product quantity ordered, etc.
  4. The finished product is presented by the sponsor company specifically as a product associated with this organization and the humanitarian aid offered as a result of their sponsorship. Items are labeled to inform the consumer   of their contribution as a result of their purchase.
  5. Any publicity or activity in regard to the promotion of the project will include all sponsor companies and will actively promote these sponsors and their generosity.  

This 'formula' accomplishes many goals - groups of hard working people from any country in the world can participate and 'plug' into the world economy in a way never before possible. Incorporating the skills of Ms. D'Angelo and the experience of the review committee is the key to bringing previously obscure products to the retail market, enabling the workers to expand or secure their employment, perhaps saving a unique skill, as with the lace ladies of India , and promoting self worth by increasing the value of the product or skills presented.

HOW WILL WE FIND POTENTIAL CANDIDATES?

Specific guidelines have been created to determine the viability of a product or group, although the goal is to help as many groups as possible by improving or creating an environment so all can be successful. In many village areas where products are being sold only to other local markets with hardly more money to purchase the goods or trade for them, even a small increase in productivity can result in more return for product by volume than previously possible. If the same volume of production increases in value by 20% per item, the volume may not increase, but the income overall is increased. This can be accomplished, for example, by making bead buttons in colors suitable for the sponsor company's promotional garment.  

Locating these groups or villages is accomplished with the aid of government agencies, charity organizations who are on site and know what groups are making products, relief organizations who give aid in poverty stricken or disaster areas and word of mouth or advertising. Students traveling abroad in more remote areas or those simply traveling throughout the world find unique products and return with souvenirs of products not common or sold in larger markets. Our global economy is also a global viewing lens and few areas remain untouched or unexplored.  

However, finding these pockets of workers making products they would like to sell outside their local area is a more specific target than the general production of local necessity items, i.e., pitchers to bring water up from the well.  A more appropriate item might be a local carved wood ladle with a local emblem typically used or specifically created for a ceremony, modified to reflect a carved design attractive in an American home rather than a local animal or deity. This ladle or wood product then sold to their sponsor company, a kitchen products manufacturer, who promotes a set of various sized ladles and wood spoons with a coordinated design of the American eagle. Almost any product can be formulated to fit the specific designs suggested by the review committee and agreed to by the sponsor company.

WHAT IS THE REVIEW COMMITTEE?

The committee is a group of professionals in various fields able to contribute their expertise in regard to the alteration of the products submitted by the village (generally speaking) and in regard to what sponsor company is ideal for the revised product.  

The committee members are enlisted per project, depending on their area of expertise, and are called upon accordingly. Several members are involved in all active projects or in the initial review process for new applicants. Areas of expertise include: public relations, the humanities, children's arts and humanities, pottery and hand work, lace making and other related arts, engineering, charitable fund raising, sanitation, chiropractic and nutritional expertise, home textile design, fashion design, pattern making, accessory design, architectural design, legal advisors regarding importing of goods and international law, shipping consultants, packaging designers, management and project directors, photographers, advertising and graphics designers, etc., and the doors are open to other professionals who wish to contribute their expertise to any specific category or contribute in general to the advancement of the project.  In addition to experts, a more "practical" group have been enlisted to lend their expertise. Moms, working people not in related industries and the "end user" of many of the products experts assume to understand. " 'WE', as a professional group, design and market to these end users, hoping we understand the logic of their practical or fashion oriented thinking, but they are ultimately in control. No matter what our high tech formulas - trend watching, style swapping, searching for the small detail we pray will be noticed or appreciated to become another form of purchase justification - we need this person to say 'yes' and plunk down their greenbacks to prove our formulas are on target, then we can all go about our business. I needed to include them in the process. They are the real thing, and, especially in this case, vital to proper application of the products we will be reviewing. This is a serious situation and the quality of lives is at stake. We will incorporate all the factors that make it possible to realistically understand all parameters of a product to give it a real fighting chance to succeed. We will also attempt to appeal to the heart of the issue and not ask simply for charity, but offer a viable, properly developed product for purchase. Everyone should win in this scenario. My worst moment will be the failure of a product, therefore, the failure to help. The best - to have Mr. or Mrs. Reality buy a product, feel they contributed, and yet feel satisfied with the quality and value of their purchase. That's a "win-win" globally."

 

PROJECT PRODUCTS


Block print pillows from India


Bouve-type hand embroidery on linen from
the Lace Ladies of India


Cotton pillowcase with hand detail &
embroidery


Full embroidery sateen pillow from India


Cotton tablecloth with hand embroidery
& finishing


Crochet glass diaper fits all sizes


Crochet wine glass base cozy


Design sketch of knitted throw with
crochet flowers, India


Hand embroidered table linens from India


Our Lady Venetian lace motif


Detailed sequins & zardosi inset bead
handwork


Festive sequins & zardosi beadwork motif


Framed Point Milan doily with center
needlepoint


Hand embroiderd design from the Lace
Ladies of India


Hand embroidery on fine Irish linen


Intricate sequins & metallic embroidery
hand work


Set of cotton crochet motifs from the Lace
Ladies


Special zardosi handwork floral & leaf
pattern

THE COMMITTEE

The Global Products Placement Project is a collection of practical and artistic minds. The formulation of the products to be presented, their evolution from village application to marketable commodity, and the process of bringing them to market, requires tremendous compassion and a lot of reality. Our Committee, a full cross section of 'free thinkers' and successful entrepreneurs, artisans, teachers and technical professionals, are called upon to lend their expertise to the project. The Committee varies as the products change and new members are added as the projects expand to include more categories or as new levels of expertise are needed to meet the challenges presented in accomplishing our goals.

These are a few of our founding committee members. If you wish to contact a member, or if you're interested in applying to be a member, please contact us through the website or send an email: Info@dangelohome.com , subject: committee member information.

Public Relations:
Utopia Communications
Ann Higgins

Promotion/music:
Terry Bleckley

Product evaluation / architectural design:
Anu Arponen Design
Anu Arponen

Product evaluation / location support / engineering design:
Robert K. Leaman

Product evaluation / pottery:
Artfully Equestrian
Lizi Ruch

Product evaluation / fashion / general / retail marketing:
Stuart Morrison

Product evaluation / fashion / women /retail marketing:
Barbara Martin

Product evaluation / fashion / knitwear:
Sonia Cozzi

Product evaluation / fashion / woven:
Iby Ibrahim

Product evaluation / jewelry:
Asch/Grossbardt, Inc.
Eric Grossbardt

Product evaluation / home textiles / India:
Aruna Seth

Product evaluation / home textiles / hard goods:
Victoria D'Angelo

Product evaluation / home textiles / print designs & application:
Susan D'Arcy

Product evaluation / health / holistic care / hard goods:
Dr. Robert Kramer

 

Global Products Placement Project
Lace Ladies Products
Home Fashion Products
Digitally Printed Products
Press Releases


Information regarding the GLOBAL PRODUCTS PLACEMENT PROJECT, DESIGN DEVELOPMENT TEAM INTERNATIONAL and The LACE LADIES OF INDIA is available at: www.dangelohome.com . Contact us: info@dangelohome.com or call: 877-745-5278