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Pacific Hospitality Design Takes Humanitarian Approach

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Jul 28, 2010 – Custom furniture manufacturer Pacific Hospitality Design Inc. of Commerce, Calif., is walking the walk of its philosophy and business value: to strongly encourage moral integrity and aid in being the change they want to see in the world.  Over the last few months, the company has been actively engaged in servicing the needs of a struggling society. In June, PHDesign sent its designer and R&D specialist, Naomi Stroh, to Haiti to assist those living in the aftermath of the earthquake.

While in the country for the 30 days of June, Naomi traveled with ministering organization Adventures in Mission, living with and assisting an orphanage housing 60 people. She and her team of nine others slept in tents outside of the complex in the compounded area. Naomi and her fellow volunteers worked construction, passed out food and entertained a few hundred kids and teenagers as part of an after-school program.

Naomi experienced firsthand the struggles of Haitian life. “The troubles, illnesses and vulnerability that Haitians face on a moment-to-moment basis are unbelievable,”

Naomi says. Port-au-Prince is polluted with car exhaust, trash, airborne garbage particles and earthquake debris. The buildings that are still standing are dilapidated and in very poor condition. Piled-up rubble litters the city and its roads to the point of landfill status. For most people, living conditions consist of tarp tents within compounded communities.“Despite their surroundings, Haitians are full of love and respect for one another,” Naomi notes. “Whether they have a mother or father or sister or brother, they all take care of each other. They have amazing manner, hospitality, humility and integrity. They have no running water—or any amenity or convenience that Americans are accustomed to—nothing but their shanty, their church and each other. I shared utmost mercy with these happy people.”

Each day Naomi and her team would walk a quarter of a mile down the sidewalks that were like obstacle courses to the dusty tent community that housed the school, made of wooden beams, a dusty concrete slab floor, and tarps. The kids laughed while they learned to play duck-duck-goose and dances such as the Electric Slide and Macarena. Says Naomi, “Eventually they transformed from a mass of active Haitian children to names and favorites: Jenny the tiny girl with the big smile, and Webby the boy who loved to dance.”
Providing Optimism to the Homeless

Meanwhile, back at the shop, PHDesign vice president Ana Maria Martinez-Stumpo and her father, Gilbert Martinez, were building and installing beautiful, durable furniture for a new environment at the Los Angeles Skid Row homeless shelter. The pair worked with a local designer and other staff on the project to transform this shelter into stylized and “tough-enough” environment to encourage stability and optimism in the hopes of providing guests with an opportunity to navigate their lives in a new direction. “At the end of the day, making a positive impact on peoples lives is what makes all of us successful,” Ana Maria says.

In addition, PHDesign has taken a page from its Rag Bag—which is a handmade bag constructed of countless yards of remnant designer fabrics—for a new venture called Orphan Stock. The e-commerce, to-the-trade-only program uses leftover prototypes, furniture exchanged for new models and numerous raw frames lining the loft space of the shop. The ready-to-be-made furniture pieces are affordable and of high quality. Designers may also inquire about revamping or refurbishing dated furniture into a refreshed, retro-fitted, reconstructed piece. “A purchase creates a feel-good attitude, knowing that your ‘adoption’ was selected from existing materials with the option to use existing upholstery as well.” Ana Maria says.

For more information on Orphan Stock, visit www.orphanstock.com or call 323-278-7999.

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