Claire Noone

Claire Noone (Bosnian Family - BOSFAM): Claire graduated in 2011 from Whitman Collage with a Bachelors Degree in Politics and a focus in human rights. She studied post-conflict transformation at the School for International Training in the Balkans, where she became deeply interested in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Claire wrote her thesis on the Bosnian electoral politics and ethnic division in Bosnia. She has also worked with migrants on the US/Mexico border, with environmental refugees in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and for the rights of refugees in Bosnia-Herzegovina. After her fellowship Claire wrote: “This fellowship reiterated my goal of getting to a place where I do not need to sit back and wait for someone to help me in order to get things done. I really enjoyed being part of a network that was small enough that it felt like a family, but had a global reach.”


01 Mar

Due to a personal emergency in the last few months, this blog has taken a backseat. As life gets back on track so to will the updates about BOSFAM. A lot has been going on at BOSFAM over the last few months. Each day is filled, as always, with busy intricate work, coffee and laughter.  The women have continued to make beautiful traditional carpets while at the same time exploring a more modern aesthetic.

BOSFAM Products

In the late fall, BOSFAM hosted a Handicraft Fair in Tuzla where artists and vendors from all over the region came to sell their handmade products. BOSFAM started the event with a fun and energized fashion show showcasing the winter fashions. While the Handicraft Fair was a success in the way that it brought together artists and craftsman, it did not bring any signifigant funding to BOSFAM or the other vendors. Bosnia’s current economic reality does not allow people a lot of economic freedom. Unfortunately items like handmade carpets and socks are not in the budget of the average Bosnian. It has become abundantly clear that in order for BOSFAM to survive and thrive we need to bring BOSFAM to the greater world. We opened an ETSY shop for BOSFAM’s classic hand knitted socks. Please visit and support at:

Participants at the Handicraft Fair and Zifa and Claire

We have begun to expand BOSFAM’s market through the webshop, ETSY and personal sales. Over the holiday season, I returned to the United States with hats, socks, and small carpets. The products were a huge hit and we ran out of merchandise before Christmas. Inspired by the acceptance in the market in the United States. I have now returned to establish a US Market. I am currently applying for a 501c3 Tax-exempt non profit status and seeking a US Market for their hand woven products. In addition to seeking a market in small boutiques and handicraft shops we are seeking corporate partners to purchase large BOSFAM carpets to hang as wall art. Along with a plaque telling the story of BOSFAM, the wall art could demonstrate the philanthropic sides of corporations while at the same time brightening the offices, reception areas and boardrooms of Americas corporate world.

BOSFAM continues on due to the love and commitment of the women like Beba, Zifa and Rasema. Their strength, determination and love has supported BOSFAM for the last 17 years. It is our job now to support them and use our collective minds and resources to bring their beautiful handmade products to the world. If you have any ideas please don’t hesitate to email me at I am currently awaiting notice of a grant from the US Embassy to support women’s economic empowerment. In the mean time I am continuing to move forward with the NGO Application and seeking retailers for BOSFAM’s products. As spring rounds the corner, hope is in the air at BOSFAM.

The Women of BOSFAM


Posted By Claire Noone

Posted Mar 1st, 2013

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