Lifting the veil on global artisans

“Watch your step…”

That is what your guide says as you duck beneath a hanging blue tarp, entering a lively artisan market.

There’s a lot of commotion.

To your right, people are buying and selling raw cotton. On your left, two backpackers are negotiating with a young woman over a blue and white blanket. Some children quickly brush past you as they dip in and out of makeshift stands, hiding behind curtains and clutching their mother’s leg when they need to rest.

As a cool breath of wind funnels through the corridor, you find yourself surprised so much energy can fit in such a small place.

While you continue exploring the market, you begin to realize it is larger than you had first thought. With every twist and turn, the market opens up further. An array of colorful textiles sways back and forth on a wooden table; one more blanket and it will topple over. Behind the table is an elderly woman. She works diligently on a wooden loom, lightly stepping back and forth in a meditative rhythm that draws you in.

Your attention is called by a hot gust of air gently kissing your right cheek. A young ceramic artisan is firing up her kiln, filling it with original wall décor and hand sculpted mugs. Dried Terracotta clay lies next to her feet, as she watches her creative effort become charred and glazed into life.

A belt sander rings out behind you.

An Ecuadorian Tagua artisan is carefully polishing the organic ivory into unique sets of jewelry. Just past him, you see a collective of women sitting quietly next to a neatly stacked pile of dried palm leaves. Your eyes are fixated on their hands and fingers, twisting and pulling in the same technique that their indigenous ancestors once taught them.

It is here you begin to realize that this artisan market is unlike anything you have seen before.

You look around and see only the highest quality items. An organized collection of cultures, products, styles, and stories. Everything is transparent, fair and respectful. The world’s most talented artisans, all under one roof, sharing their work and being recognized for their skills.

Welcome, to Artezanz. This marketplace is unlike anything you have seen before. In lieu of privatized buyers or opaque resellers that claim ‘fair trade’, this marketplace connects you, the buyer, directly with the artisan.

Why is this important?

Whether you know it or not, artisan products are big business. With an estimated economic annual value exceeding $34 billion, the bulk of the world’s families have food on the table due, in part, to their artisan efforts.

This presents an immense opportunity to spur economic growth and development in emerging communities around the world. It also puts them in a vulnerable circumstance where they can be easily preyed upon.

As it stands today, the global artisan community is scattered and unorganized. The dominant narrative suggests that global artisans identify as poor, lacking in resources, and in need of a handout.

Our experience working with artisans paints a different picture.

Global artisans are talented small business owners. They hold a wealth of collected knowledge and are responsible for some of the most creative, unique, and culturally significant designs the world has ever seen.

Standing on the shoulders of respected organizations such as Nest, Artisan Alliance, and the Fair-Trade Federation, Artezanz is focused on making global culture more accessible and helping connect global artisans to larger markets.

We live and work on the ground with our artisan partners. We know them and they know us. Together we craft a personalized business profile and actively help them connect with buyers domestically and internationally.

With the support and partnership of DHL, we help the artisans dramatically reduce the cost of shipping their products. This, along with our organized workshops, helps the artisans improve their business, lower their costs, and share their stories.

This marketplace is designed to be a wholesale supply platform for boutique store owners, interior designers, and conscious buyers across the world. Welcome to the market. Have fun looking around. If you have any questions, just ask.

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