2017 was a busy year for the Mela Artisans team: we collaborated with lovely brands who share our ethos and vision for an artisan-made home; hosted a TV festival in our Vermont store; fulfilled our fourth loan through Kiva (in less than a day); and grew our team.
Here are some of the highlights of the year:
- We collaborated with Urban Ladder, India’s hottest online startup in the home and decor space. This unique collection by Mela Artisans, featured wood-based designs from our artisans in Saharanpur. We were so thrilled to be able to offer our designs to Indian customers, many of which are keen on buying consciously but with a modern flair. Read more about this collaboration on our blog.
- We gave our branding a fresh spin. Check out our latest catalog, our improved website with over 100+ new items, our updated blog layout , and collaborations with blog partners, Social Flourish and three3fold.
- Our Vermont store turned into a VIP lounge this year at the ITV Festival in Manchester which brings together independent artists, up-and-coming talent, and the creative forces behind our favorite shows. Over 100 high level industry execs and talent from production houses such as HBO, Comedy Central, and Bravo all made it to our small town. And Mela Artisans got to be at the heart of it.
- We completed our fourth Kiva loan to support our artisans. Working with Kiva has been a dream; they believe in the power of micro-entrepreneurs and are passionately helping companies, like ours, do so. Our loan of $20,000 was fulfilled in one day!
- We took part in Target’s first artisan collection. Getting shoppers to buy more handmade products means that we have to go where the shoppers are. Given that so many American families go to Target to furnish their spaces, we were elated to accompany a host of mission-driven brands in the retailer’s first artisan collection.
- We did some fun collaborations with like-minded brands, such as Nest, Ubuntu Made, Mata Traders, and Purse & Clutch. Go give them some love as well.
- We had our first pop up shop in New York City, giving us a new footprint in Soho, and an opportunity to show off our new product line to all the delightful folks who stopped by.
- Lastly, and very importantly, we added two respected, and incredibly experienced individuals to our board: Frank Guzzetta, former President of the Ralph Lauren Home Collection, and William M. Smith, Managing Partner at Global Reach Capital, LLC.
We’re looking onward to 2018, hoping to reach more conscious consumers, collaborate with more pioneering brands, and give work to more artisans in India.
Thank you for your kind support thus far. We are just getting started.