Global Gifts sources a variety of products from our Asian artisan group partners, including textiles, ceramics, laquerware, jewelry and more. These are just a few of the artisan groups with whom we work:
Manos Amigas, Peru
Manos Amigas is a fair trade organization dedication to the export of handicrafts and to alternative tourism. Manos Amigas, which means “Hands Joined In Friendship,” works with family workshops and with small business groups and associations that make a variety of handicrafts in impoverished areas of Lima and in the Andean highlands. Manos Amigas offers training workshops for their artisans, and participates in international trade fairs to gain new markets for artisans.
Global Gifts currently painted wood housewares and furniture, retablos, nativities, ornaments, burnt gourd items, jewelry, musical instruments, puppets, ceramic items, miniature animals, purses and wind chimes from Manos Amigas.
Lucia's Imports, Guatemala
Established in 2005, Lucia’s Imports operates according to the Fair Trade Federation Principles---partnering with Guatemalan families, artisan groups, and cooperatives to produce and develop a wholesale market for their quality handicrafts and accessories. These trading partnerships ensure artisans earn a living wage in the local context, work under safe and healthy working conditions, are provided equal opportunities, and engage in environmentally sustainable practices.
Globally, many artisans have little opportunity to market their products. Working side by side with Guatemalan artisans helps improve their economic well being, enabling them to earn a living wage in a region where there are few opportunities to do so. Through direct collaboration with artisans, we are able to design products that are not only fashionable, modern, and functional but embrace traditional Mayan design.
Unique Batik, Guatemala
Unique Batik works directly with artisans in Guatemala to bring their beautiful handmade items to the world, while ensuring fair wages, safe working conditions, and opportunities for education and development.
Unique Batik works with artisan groups that produce high quality products using the age-old artistic traditions of batik printing in Ghana and backstrap weaving in Guatemala. They also purchase beaded jewelry in both countries. Unique Batik's business gives these artisans access to markets beyond their local villages. This work makes it possible for our partners to make a living, stay in their home communities and carry on cultural traditions.
Sapia, formerly Piel Acida, was originally conceived in 1995 by Ana Piedrahita, an entrepreneur in Colombia’s capital city of Bogota.
Piedrahita had seen a box from Uruguay that was produced from dried orange peel, and recognized the potential for producing a wide array of unique and intriguing items from this material. She decided to pursue a business specializing in the design and production of the products. As the business grew, Piedrahita brought in business partner Javier Cardenas to provide additional professional management skills and to help in expanding the market for their products. The organization was formally registered in 2000.
Sapia employs 32 artisans directly, with another 50-plus artisans working independently. They also support an additional group of people through their purchase of orange peels, the raw material for their products. Colombia is among the highest per capita in orange juice consumption, which has spawned a strong demand for fresh-squeezed juice. These vendors would normally have to pay to discard the used peels, but now can actually earn additional income from selling them to Sapia.
Sapia has incorporated fair trade principles in their operation, as they seek to develop the artisan-based handicraft sector in Colombia. While Colombia has recently achieved a relatively good macroeconomic climate, people in the lower income brackets continue to face serious challenges. Colombia ranks low in income equality, and also possesses one of the highest number of internally displaced persons of any country in the world. They have used their sales growth as an opportunity to reach out to other artisan groups in rural areas of the country, and have worked diligently to move beyond their original orange peel products and create new lines based on tagua, corn husk, cotton thread and recycled materials.
In 2010, the organization changed its name from Piel Acida Cascaras de Naranja to Sapia. The name change reflects the depth and variety of products it offers, and a merger with Salvarte, a Bogota-based retail operation. The new name combines portions of the names of the two formerly separate organizations.