Our Story

- Our Mission: Celebrating Craftsmanship and Supporting Artisans -

Dandarah is a woman-owned social enterprise based in Montreal, Canada, with a mission to support artisans and sustain traditional crafts.

We work directly with economically and socially marginalized artisans in Egypt, mostly women and minorities, to improve their economic and social conditions by providing employment opportunities, sustainable income and access to international markets.

As a Fair Trade Federation verified member, Dandarah is fully committed to the fair trade principles in all of its business practices including fair pay, safe working conditions, transparency, and environmentally sustainable practices.

We partner with local NGOs, artisan cooperatives, and self-employed artisans in different rural areas and inner cities in Egypt to create high-quality handmade products rooted in local age-old crafts, such as hand weaving, glass blowing and pottery.
We work with our artisans on promoting the use of natural materials, and sustainable processes such as recycling and up-cycling.

Each one of our products is designed to be functional, while preserving the artisans’ traditional techniques.
Each piece tells the unique and beautiful story of people, lands and traditions.

Dandarah is also a member of 1% for the Planet, pledging to donate 1% of annual sales to support nonprofit organizations focused on the environment. 1% for the Planet believes that we can build a better future for all 1% at a time. With every purchase from Dandarah, we can all be 1% better.

Dandarah also partners with MSF Canada by donating 1% of annual sales to support MSF's humanitarian work.

We invite you to experience the Dandarah products crafted with care, 
and to become part of this story of empowerment to artisans and their crafts.

Products in the Process Arranging Moire for Cutting Sewing a cosmetic bag

- Our Story -

The story of Dandarah started many years ago on the banks of the Nile river. As my sister and I were growing up in a multicultural household in Heliopolis (a neighborhood of Cairo with some beautiful architecture), our parents awakened in us a love for art and Egyptian crafts in all its forms. Among the things we learned to appreciate the most about art was how it's often rooted in the culture of the artists and tells the stories of the people and the land that inspire them. Egypt was an excellent learning ground for us because of the wealth and diversity of the art and craftsmanship present in that country. We learned to love the stories told by the art creations of some renowned artists like the architects Hassan Fathy and Ramses Wissa Wassef, and the sculptors Mahmoud Mokhtar and Hassan Heshmat.
As well as by unknown artists and craftsmen who live in humble surroundings in Egyptian inner cities, rural villages or oases.

The idea for Dandarah and our interest in launching a social enterprise was born when we moved to Canada some years ago. It was born from a desire to share beautifully handcrafted products beyond the boundaries of their home country and to empower artisans and sustain their age-old crafts. 

- Meaning of Dandarah -

Dandarah (or Dendera) is an agricultural town on the west bank of the Nile River, in the south of Egypt. 
This town is home to one of the best preserved temples of pharaonic Egypt. It was dedicated to the goddess Hathor who was usually depicted as a woman with the head of a cow and ears of a cow, or simply in the form of a cow. Hathor was the goddess of the sky, of women, of beauty, and of fertility and love. She was strongly connected with motherhood. 
The town of Dandarah is also situated in proximity to other Egyptian towns and villages, such as Nagada, Akhmim and Hagaza. These rural towns are major centers for artisans of different traditional crafts including, hand weaving of fabrics and carpets, tapestry, pottery, and woodworking.

Moire Buttons and beads