A History of the Green Butterfly Market
Twelve years ago, in February 2010, an artisan revolution was set in motion. Together with ten other female artisans, Yaz Meen a.k.a Madame Yasmeen created a project named ‘The Open Air Stock Exchange’. The idea was to create a regular market for local artisans who would consistently exhibit their products on the First Saturday of every month at the same venue at the same time, every month. “As an artisan myself I was struggling to find the right place to sell my handmade soaps and personal care products. I thought, if this works, it would be such an amazing sales platform for women just like myself. I was excited. In the beginning we had many challenges, venue being the first. We tried to have it at the Ako-Adjei park but couldn’t get them to commit to every first Saturday. We did get the Nyaniba park in Nyaniba estates to commit so we started having it there in March 2010. For almost two years we held ‘The Open Air Stock Exchange’ at the Nyaniba park until we caught the attention of the Goethe Institut, a moment that would change the course of our history.
In 2012, we formed a partnership with the Goethe Institut where we held our monthly market for another six years on the first Saturday of every month. I call those years the ‘golden years of our development’. Our relationship with the Goethe Institut had proven to be a turning point for us as we began to attract more and more avid consumers of art, fashion, and lifestyle products. From the very beginning we insisted on our vendors being local residents of our community who are making their own products. We also established the market as a Green market promoting the use of eco-friendly products while supporting entrepreneurs in our communities. It also became the first marketplace in Ghana to ban the use of plastic bags! Most of the artisans we support are women in the informal sector, many of whom are also supporting their families and that is what keeps me going everyday.”
The market has grown exponentially over the years recording immense success and eventually becoming the most successful artisan event in the city of Accra. We now have artisans coming from not only other regions of Ghana, but also other parts of Africa! As we grew, we re-located to the Dubois center where we held the market for 4 years. By this time the market had undergone a name change to the “GREEN BUTTERFLY MARKET” in sync with our brand “Green Butterfly” seeking to spread ecofriendly culture.
The event moved once again out of the Dubois Center last year and is now held at our NEW AND BEAUTIFUL LOCATION – the National Headquarters of the DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND GARDENS near the Italian Embassy and opposite DVLA in Cantonments, Accra. The Department of Parks and Gardens is in charge of many Green Projects accross the country and also governs parks in all the regions of Ghana. Green Butterfly is privileged to partner with the Department in an effort to keep spreading eco-friendly culture.
See you every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month at the Department of Parks and Gardens!