The annual fair organized by the Latvian Ethnographic Open Air Museum would celebrate the 50th anniversary season this year, however, due to restrictions on gatherings, the fair was postponed to 2021. In order to provide buyers from Latvia and abroad the opportunity to purchase goods of local craftsmen and home producers and sellers to market their products, a sales portal has been created with the initiative and support of Luminor bank.

“It is important for Luminor to support locals, especially in these unprecedented circumstances, so we are pleased with the response of the Open Air Museum to our idea of ​​an online fair. We are ready to provide support to local craftsmen and home producers, because for many of them participating in the e-fair means mastering new skills – how to design and present their product virtually, how to pay securely and resolve delivery issues. The large number of participants confirm already at the beginning of the project that Luminor encouragement to local sellers to switch to the digital environment has been appreciated,”

 – tells Kerli Gabrilovica, Head of Luminor in Latvia.

Gunta Velpa has been active in weaving for 20 years, trying to popularize one of the oldest types of crafts in Latvia. “I have set up my own company – Atspole, and so far the buyers have been mainly foreign tourists who have taken my works home as souvenirs from Latvia. I am glad that has been created, which will serve as an additional way to get more customers in Latvia and also abroad.”

More than 130 craftsmen and home producers from all over Latvia have already registered on the platform Products are placed in 9 categories – ceramics; wood and birch bark, textiles; toys; metal; jewellery; leather; glass and food, and beverages. So far the widest selection is available for textiles, jewellery and wood products. Most sellers have applied from Riga and its surroundings (50%), Vidzeme (17%), Zemgale (12%), Latgale (11%), and (Kurzeme 10%). 

“Having realized that this year’s big craftsmen festival cannot be held as usually, we still wanted to mark this year in the history of Latvian crafts as an important one, because caring for our people and the need to highlight, cherish local works has only grown. Craftsmen and home producers who have proven themselves will also take part in this online Fair. We are very happy about the great response from craftsmen and home producers and their interest in meeting buyers virtually. Thanks to them, Latvian crafts and home production traditions are kept alive, because only in this way we can preserve this important cultural heritage. Unlike many nations, we can be proud that we have really managed to preserve what many have already lost,”

 – says Arnis Radiņš, Acting Director of the Open Air Museum.

Latvians abroad have already especially shown interest in, therefore DPD Latvija has become a big friend of the project and will help the purchased products to and safely reach buyers both in Latvia and elsewhere in Europe.

“We stand for Latvian values, therefore we feel honoured to be a part of this grand project! How significant that the exactly the 50th fair season begins in a new form – online, thus we have opened a new page in our history heritage book. In order to support local craftsmen and strengthen the ties between compatriots in Latvia and abroad, we have prepared a special cooperation offer for craftsmen and invite all buyers to use the possibility to receive the purchased goods and gifts through DPD”,

 – says  Jānis Grants, Chairman of the Board of DPD Latvija. 

In order to promote the recognition of the craftsmen and home producers of the virtual fair, a travelling “green” ball will take place today within the frameworks of the Riga Festival, which will invite people to support the locals by visiting and shopping in

The sale portal operates as an e-catalogue, where buyers from Latvia and other countries can easily view the offer and contact the masters to purchase the selected goods.  

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