In 2007, while still an undergraduate in advertising and creative design, I spent a semester studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Being immersed in rich art and culture, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, and fascinated by incredible architecture, all served to confirm that I wanted to pursue a career in art and design. I also realized that international travel was important for my personal growth, and so I continued to collect stamps in my passport, spending time in countries such as Zambia, Zanzibar, Greece, Tanzania, Peru, Morocco and Chile. With each trip I found myself increasingly drawn to local markets with their vibrant colors, handmade textiles, and artisan crafts that I had never before been exposed to. I loved talking to the artisans and hearing them passionately discuss the products they devote their lives to creating, while at the same time I was sad to see them struggle to make a living wage doing so. I always came away wondering how access to a larger global market might ease some of their financial strain as well as showcasing their products to a larger audience.
In 2011, I started working with a company whose mission was to employ global artisans by partnering with socially conscious retailers who wanted to ethically source products for their collections. I was able to travel, learn about indigenous craft techniques, meet artisans from all over the globe, and see first hand the direct effect sustainable employment could have on one's life. It was an incredible learning experience, but I also found that my own entrepreneurial voice was gaining strength/growing louder - what if I was that socially conscious brand that believed in only ethically sourcing products from talented artisans?
In March 2013, having decided to finally venture out on my own, I created Maven Collection! Maven Collection is a lifestyle brand featuring ethically sourced, handmade products from artisans across the globe. Our hope is to connect talented, passionate artisans from around the world to socially conscious buyers. Our first curated collection includes work from artisans in Morocco, India, Peru, Guatemala, France and Bangladesh, as well as L.A and Chicago.
We hope you are able to find an artisan whose work connects with you! Thanks for visiting!
Laura Hebden, Founder & Artisan Representative