Some of the most beautiful and highest quality apparel, jewelry, and other crafts are hand made by artisan groups in developing countries. In these countries, the artisan sector is the second largest employer; agriculture being the first. The majority of these artisans are women working in small groups and many are single parents.
If you have visited developing countries, you have probably seen some beautiful, extremely well made hand-crafted products made by local artisans. These products are not that easy to find in the USA and other countries. These artisans face many barriers in today’s global economy but the largest and most universal is a lack of access to global markets.
On the other side of supply is the high demand for these artisan products. There are many small businesses and boutique shops that actively look for these handmade crafts. Some of these shops attend trade national shows where a small percentage of the local weaving groups’ merchandise are shown. Some shops have started to purchase directly. However, most still lack access to these artisan products and competitive prices which adhere to fair trade principles.
There are many barriers on both the seller side and the buyer side. This website, Artisans At Heart was created to lower these barriers and allow quality and authentic hand made products fair and equal access to global markets. By reaching their intended market, these weaving groups will experience an increase in sales, jobs, and earnings. Artisans At Heart also works to preserve and strengthen cultural artisan techniques and traditions.
GLOBAL SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
Artisans At Heart is a global social enterprise founded in 2016. We are working with artisans and advocates around the globe to create a free trusted platform where buyers and sellers can connect.
We are an all-volunteer social enterprise but we are not a nonprofit organization so we do not accept donations. We focus on artisan groups in developing countries that make quality apparel and accessories.
Allison founded Artisans At Heart in 2016. With the help of friends and especially Catherine and Rafael, the Artisan Directory remains active, updated, and continues to connect Artisans directly with markets and shop owners around the world.
Allison lives and attends school at Texas State University in the USA. She loves to travel, follow the fashion industry, dance, and help others. Allison enjoys connecting with and learning about Artisan communities. Although college is now her first priority, she hopes to visit many of the Artisans in the future.
Catherine lives and works in the Philippines. She loves cats, books, and coffee. Catherine has a degree in sociology and currently works as an Internet marketing specialist for a multinational company. Through Artisans at Heart, she hopes to spark social change at the grassroots level through discovering and supporting local artisan communities. Catherine has visited several Artisan communities in Cambodia.
Rafael also lives in the Philippines. Rafael is married with a wonderful son. Rafael remains committed to Artisans At Heart and remains the webmaster.