May's Featured Producer Partner | Gayane Khachatryan of Talin Women’s Resource Center
Gayane Khachatryan is the founder of Talin Women’s Resource Center Development Foundation. About seven years ago, Brian Bokhart, a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, took the initiative to give the women in the city of Talin a way to supplement their families' income by crocheting beautiful dolls. Brian connected the Resource Center with HDIF, and established a partnership for HDIF to sell these items, soon to be called "Talin Dolls."
Today, this atelier produces finely crafted goods in traditional Armenian Taraz, or national dress. The porfolio has expanded to include traditionally-themed dolls, finger puppets, key tags, and even baby shoes. A portion of the group’s income funds vital health services in the Talin region.
Talin is one of the oldest settlements in modern day Armenia, with ancient foundations dating back to the 2nd millennium B.C. The majestic Talin Cathedral complex was founded in the late 7th century. Talin is also home to the remains of the 13th-century caravansary, which provided rest and lodging to travelers along the Silk Road. Today, cattle-breeding is common in the rural areas around Talin, while beekeeping farms are found in the higher woodlands.