Twenty five years ago, John and Shari fell in love with Guatemala and its rich traditions. Shari now designs products which are then crafted by small indigenous family businesses, cooperative groups, and their fair-trade workshop in Guatemala. Altiplano offers financial support to families and businesses and 30 organizations in need locally and globally.
M. Kennedy Leavens founded Awamaki Labs in 2009. Based in the Andean town of Ollantaytambo, Peru, Awamaki works with over 150 women and their families across five cooperatives, providing education and skill trainings, enabling them to transform their communities and giving them access to a broader market so they may sell their fair trade products.
Bottlesup water bottles, designed by Laurel Herter are crafted by glass artisans in Mexico in a semi-automatic process incorporating ancient techniques in modern facilities. Bottlesup food-grade silicone grips are made in Maine, and assembled with the glass bottles by special-needs adults participating in Programs for Exceptional People. Bottlesup partners with organizations like 1% for the Planet and Save Our Shores to spread awareness and encourage action against environmental pollution.
Chub Bull, an artisan crafted line led by Esther Silvera, began as a small family business in Peru, but has developed into a fashion line. The company’s unique bullhorn accessories are inspired by Esther’s father, who used to make rustic bullhorn combs in a variety of shapes and sizes. They also make handcrafted bracelets, necklaces, and earrings.
Owner and designer of emiLime Handcrafted, Emily Green, sources various natural materials for items such as buttons (ex: tagua seed in Ecuador, bull horns in Lima, etc). The various kinds of knitwear, including hats, gloves, and scarves, are handmade with all-natural materials by small farmers and artisans in Peru and Ecuador.
Monica Farbiarz was on a trip back to her roots in Colombia that pushed her life towards a different path. She happened upon a workplace whose handicrafts were made of Tagua, or vegetable ivory. Monica brought back a selection to the U.S., and began supplementing her income selling Tagua jewelry.
Escama Studio products are a handcrafted line of women’s handbags and accessories made from recycled aluminum pull-tabs and intricate crochet. Inspired by traditional Brazilian crocheted handbags, founder Andy Krumholz partnered with Socurro Leal, making it their mission to blend traditional Brazilian handwork with modern design – while improving the lives of female artisans. They also fund computer-based educational programs.
Amanda Judge started the Faire Collection with artisans in Ecuador, and has expanded into Vietnam, Peru and Swaziland, now employing 225 artisans. Their training programs have included: financial management, accounting, computer literacy, management, health and nutrition, conflict resolution, diversity, family planning, recycling and energy efficiency. They also provide no interest loans and have an academic scholarship programs.
Haiti Babi, trains and provides jobs to women in Haiti, so they can support and educate their children, and not destine them to live in orphanages. By making high-quality baby accessories, a Haiti Babi worker earns twice Haiti’s minimum wage.
Haiti’s Jewels, a social enterprise founded by Sophie Wiseman-Floyd, partners with Haitian artists to design, produce, and sell beautiful jewelry made of recycled materials and local Haitian products. As Haitians develop professional artisan skills, they are able to buy land, provide food, shelter, and an education for their children, plan weddings, pay for medical care.
Jenny Krauss visited Peru in 2008, met a highly skilled group of women artisans, fell in love with the Peruvian embroidery techniques, bought a few belts to bring back to the states… and the rest is history. Today, Jenny employs 1600 artisans who create these beautifully embroidered belts, purses, and pillows. Jenny Krauss operates using fair trade guidelines.
Kutula Kiss aims to bring high quality, hand-crafted Colombian jewelry to the world, while supporting and empowering its women artisans. By offering fair wages and allowing its artisans to work at home, Kutula Kiss provides women artisans the tools they need to support their families, raise themselves out of poverty, and dream big.
At Little Journeys, Ronnie Berk and Toby Lee combine their design knowledge with the amazing knitting skills of a women’s coop in rural Peru. Employing women with limited job opportunities Little Journeys has helped to employ these talented women for over 15 years and supports them with business and technical training along with local job opportunities.
Our line of whimsical knitted creatures were designed by Mélange Collection and created by a group of talented women high in the Andes mountains of Peru. Mélange follows fair trade principles and works closely with an organization dedicated to empowering rural women through income generating projects in Peru.
Prosperity Candle is a company that strives to delight customers through design, fragrance, and stories that brighten the heart and soul. From employing and providing living wages to a women refugees and supporting women’s entrepreneurship in places like Haiti, everyone in Prosperity Candle has a common dream - a world where all women have the opportunity to thrive.
Founded by Jonathan Beall in 1997, Sertodo Copper was created with the aim to create and deliver the highest quality copper products while following fair trade principles, respecting its artisans and providing them sufficient wages for financial stability. Each Sertodo Copper piece is individually handcrafted by autonomous artisans in Santa Clara del Cobre, a village located high in the Sierra Madres Occidental of Southwestern Mexico.
On a trip to Ecuador, Andrew and Lori Schuster were inspired by the rich cultural heritage of the region and the amazing natural fiber, Alpaca. Inspired to help the people of Ecuador raise their economic status, they went on to form Shupaca—whose 20 artisans and staff produce products that incorporate indigenous artistic qualities with a modern flare.
Giovanna Balarezo founded Tallerqata in 2009 with the intention of creating an outlet with which to evoke her own Peruvian heritage and to express her love of craft. Sustainability is regarded highly, and the small family businesses whom Tallerqata supports balance the social, economic, and ecological priorities of business.