Here at Dear Keaton we love beautiful products but we especially enjoy partnering with companies that are making a difference in the world. We take great pride that many of our global goods are fair trade, sustainable and artisan made. We are thrilled to spotlight our newest partner, Mercado Global, and to share their story of craftsmanship and empowering women.
At Mercado Global each item starts in the highlands of Guatemala, where talented indigenous women artisans develop woven creations. The process dates back centuries and has been passed down by women from generation to generation. The Mayans have been weaving for over 2,000 years and still use the same traditional methods. The weaving techniques remain symbolic because of their Mayan heritage and the value they hold to each weaver.
Mercado Global is unique in its focus on change from the ground up. They provide education, tools, and access to international markets so that women can build their own businesses and invest in their communities.
Many of the artisans have suffered discrimination, violence, and extreme poverty. Through an innovative dual approach that combines business partnerships with educational programs, Mercado Global helps these women connect with distribution channels to ensure they earn fair and sustainable incomes.
Mercado provides microloans so artisans can purchase equipment to become more efficient and earn a higher income. When the loans are paid back, the loan opportunity becomes available to another artisan. This revolving loan fund structure means that it will continue helping artisans overcome poverty, long after its original use.
While the artisans may be experts at their craft, many are new to business ownership. Through pioneering the Rural Women Entrepreneurs Education Program, Mercado Global provides training to help women gain the skills to become business owners. From one of the most marginalized populations in the world, artisans are rising to become leaders in their communities and a source of change in global sourcing practices.
To learn more about the Mercado Global founders and how the company began click here