Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Artisan Emporia

A few years ago, while finishing my graduate degree by participating in a collaboration between design students, development experts and Mayan women in Guatemala, I set out with a few partners to create a new kind of Fair Trade business. We wanted to create a manufacturing, distribution and marketing platform emphasizing collaboration between fashion, fair labor standards, designers, artisans, and consumers. After years of research, buying, marketing and work on product development, we launched our company Artisan Emporia in 2009.

Artisan Emporia provides a marketplace for artisans to showcase their crafts. Emporia, being the Latin plural of emporium, denotes our desire to bring the crafts, designs and ideas of many markets to one place.

Our mission is to bring unique and beautiful products from artisans all over the world to North America, as well as build sustainable trading relationships based on mutual respect, cultural curiosity and shared aspirations. We work with innovative artists and cooperatives from many different countries to bring you one of-a-kind creations that are exquisitely designed and handcrafted. We work closely with our artisans to ensure that the products are of the highest quality using environmentally sustainable practices.

We employ the standards of Fair Trade as articulated by the Fair Trade Federation to ensure that the artisans we work with receive an honest and fair price for their products while sustainably preserving their cultural traditions. Artisan Emporia also seeks to provide a market place for designers and skilled craftspeople to collaborate on new and innovative ideas. Utilizing our network of global cooperatives we seek to create lasting partnerships between our artisans and designers seeking sustainable business development for their craft. Artisan Emporia also strives to provide maximum transparency between our artisans, and you, the purchaser. To this end, we proudly document our work and travel across the world to share with you, in the hope that together, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of artisans through our purchases and cultural understanding.

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