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 and hand crafted products 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 attend trade national shows where a small percentage of the local weaving groups’ merchandise are shown. Some have started to purchase directly. However, most entrepreneurs 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. Artisans At Heart was organized 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 organized in 2015. 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 are focusing first on artisan groups in developing countries that make quality apparel and accessories.
Allison had the idea for Artisans At Heart in 2015. Through mutual friends, Catherine heard about the project and decided to help. Together, and with the input from others Artisans At Heart launched in early 2016. Special thanks to our website designer Rafael.
Allison lives and attends school in the USA. She loves travel, fashion, dancing, and helping others. Allison is connecting with many of the Artisan communities and will be visit a few with the intent to find ways to further help the artisans access global markets.
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.