Something exciting is happening in the tiny Central American country of El Salvador. —In this nation of just over six million people, a grassroots movement is afoot to bring its bourgeoning creative scene to the forefront.
Against a backdrop of crime and poverty, a band of progressive and socially-conscious architects, designers and entrepreneurs are hoping that celebrating and promoting creative industries in El Salvador will help fuel economic and cultural growth. Thus The Carrot Concept was born as a physical space, a business model and as an instrument of change.
The genesis of The Carrot Concept began in 2007 with the creation of El Salvador’s first national design competition and furniture exhibition, Contempo. With the support of Bernhardt Design and local business leaders, the annual Contempo program provided local designers with an opportunity to exhibit internationally and receive positive media exposure.
It became apparent that more needed to be done to create a sustainable design industry in El Salvador. As is often the situation, the solution came from within, and The Carrot Concept was conceived as a collective for creativity.
“The Design community here has come so far in such a short period of time. Our exposure is increasing and people are noticing that we can create positive change in the community. What we needed was a ‘Carrot on a Stick’ to encourage Salvadoran designers to keep the momentum going. We needed something visible and permanent to support the goals we’re trying to achieve.” Harry Washington, Co-Founder.
Bernhardt Design presented the international debut of The Carrot Concept at Wanted Design in New York. The exhibition showcased the work of the product designers, architects, graphic designers and photographers, as well as introduced The Carrot Concept’s in-house organic café Soya.
Extensive press coverage in media publications like Fast Company introduced the designers to a new audience and created demand for Salvadoran products and design services. The Carrot Concept products are now available at such prestigious retail locations as Luminaire, web-based shops including Fab.com, or ordered direct from The Carrot Concept Shop.