Handmade Metal Hippo Ornaments & Gifts

We are pleased to announce the arrival of hippo book charms, ornaments, pin cards, and magnet frames from Pilgrim Imports, a Wisconsin wholesale importer. Two of the items are shown below and the rest appear on our shopping site.

Roller Skating Hippo Gift Card

Roller Skating Hippo Gift Card

Roller Skating Metal Hippo Ornament

Roller Skating Metal Hippo Ornament

Pilgrim Imports is committed to building and supporting communities of craftsmen while purchasing items at a fair wage. Read more about Pilgrim below.

Pilgrim Imports originated over 23 years ago in a village outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand. There, craftspeople and their families gather for an annual celebration that has become known as Pilgrim Family Day. The day features food, friends, and fun. Spirits are high as sports jerseys and t-shirts for the Pilgrim-sponsored teams are distributed along with special gifts and announcements.

You would barely guess that two decades ago this was a chronically poor area; families accustomed to closeness were commonly forced to separate for survival as children went to work in Bangkok’s factories and tourist trades. Traditional village life deteriorated in the face of poverty.

No longer do the villagers consider sending their kids away to the big city. Now, over 400 neighbors in this rural land work together to produce the art pieces Pilgrim buyers and customers love. They are able to remain in their homeland and utilize traditional metalworking skills.

Pilgrim continues to draw ever more members into its extended family. Just this year, two new master craftsmen and their families came on board, bringing the total of master artisans to fifteen.

This is how it should be, for there are many tasks that need to be completed on the Thai end to create Pilgrim’s adorable ornaments, pins, and jewelry. Fortunately, all of these jobs are honest, clean, and economical. No one thinks of dumping trash in rivers or landfills because the villagers work right where they live. No lead or any other dangerous chemicals are used in the products (although children should still take care when handling the pins and other sharp objects).

Besides generally improving quality of life for hundreds, the work Pilgrim offers set other improvements in motion. For instance, the village’s local grade school received a paved road, computers and clean drinking water. The Thai Department of Education cited this once destitute place of learning as a model for rural schooling.

The Thai villagers are glad for the opportunity to improve the lives of their children. These are people who cherish family, food, and friendship; they are welcoming and overflowing with unforgettable hospitality and kindness. Like us, they relish special occasions such as festivals, farmers markets, social gatherings, dinners, and sporting events.

More importantly, these Thai people are proud to preserve their village traditions and happy to be close to each other. They appreciate the work which sustains their way of life, and they are pleased to learn that others enjoy the projects they create. Look for the light of admirable people inside of every Pilgrim product, and we will keep “working together for good” to bring it to you.


2 responses to “Handmade Metal Hippo Ornaments & Gifts”

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  1. That’s really cute.