Today marks a very special anniversary… It’s been five years since my friend Hannah Skvarla and I founded The Little Market, our nonprofit fair trade shop. Through The Little Market, we strive to support dignified job opportunities for women in need all over the world. We are so grateful for your support of our mission because we couldn’t do it without you!
2018 has been a year of growth, and it’s safe to say we couldn’t be more excited. Keep reading as we reflect on how far The Little Market has come over the past five years…
Our story begins with a friendship. Hannah and I met while studying together at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, and we soon became friends and travel buddies. In 2012, we traveled together to Africa to visit nonprofit organizations that were supporting women and children. The women we met expressed how much they wanted to earn a sustainable income to be able to support their families and send their children to school.
Motivated by these inspiring women and left wanting to do more, Hannah and I wanted to find a way to help women break the cycle of poverty so their families could have a brighter future. In many communities all over the world, there are artisanal skills that are passed down from generation to generation.
We decided to create an online store so that artisans could share their handmade goods, their skills, and their cultural traditions with a wider audience. The Little Market purchases handmade items from women around the world to support sustainable income and preserve culture and traditions.
To source products for The Little Market, we have traveled all over the world. You may remember our trips to India, Nepal, Guatemala, and Mexico. We also have four amazing partners in the United States in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and Easthampton, Massachusetts.
In October 2013, The Little Market carried products made by eight artisan groups in five countries. Fast forward to 2018, and we are now carrying products made by 69 artisan groups across 28 countries. The more products we sell, the more lives we can positively impact. We are always looking to expand our collection and further our reach, and we are extremely grateful to all of the customers who have supported our artisans over the years.
What I love most about The Little Market is that every product has a story, a person, and beautiful cultural techniques behind it. We identify and partner with on human rights and social justice issues these communities face. We work with marginalized groups that support artisans in remote areas and prioritize fair trade principles. We always want to use our platform to advocate for female empowerment and educate our supporters groups including female refugees, at-risk young mothers, and ethnic minorities.
Last month, we officially opened the doors to our first brick-and-mortar location in Los Angeles! We are thrilled to have a physical space to share these artisan-made goods. Every handmade piece is unique, and it makes a world of difference to have the opportunity to touch and feel them. We can’t wait for you to stop by and shop these pieces in person.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for supporting The Little Market and the inspiring artisans we work with. This would not be possible without you, and your encouragement means the world to us! It’s been an incredible five years, and we can’t wait to see what’s next.
Have any questions about what’s next for The Little Market?
Leave them for me below.