May 09, 2015

Artisans around the world are showcasing their inspiring stories and art.

Retailers have travelled the world and have connected with inspiring artists who have been creating home decor pieces, jewelry and tapestries by hand for decades. Each of the pieces has a history and a beautiful story from a faraway place and carries old traditions across the oceans.


HomeSense and Ugandan Woven Baskets

When HomeSense saw these handwoven baskets from Uganda, it was an obvious yes. The baskets will create a source of financial, economic and social stability for artisans in the Ugandan villages working with HomeSense. And for the consumer, well the bright and vibrant patterns and various sizes go far beyond one season and aren’t limited to staying in one room. Fit for any space, these colourful decor gems can be used for a number of things such as fruit platters, storage baskets or table toppers. Reasonably priced, the Ugandan Woven Baskets range from $7.99 to $69.99 CDN (pictured, Handwoven Basket $7.99 CDN; Handwoven Vases, $34.99 CDN; Handwoven Platter $24.99 CDN).

Me to We and the Kenyan Mamas

Far beyond being just a retailer, Me to We is the organization behind We Day, a day focusing on motivating youth from around the world with motivational speakers, arts and volunteer opportunities to visit villages to meet and work with artisans and Free the Children, a youth empowerment network aimed at creating young agents of change. Me to We is known for their Rafiki Friend Chains and they sell these lovely, colourful chains in their stores, online and at Chapters Indigo. They sell a number of other items including jewelry, books, stationery, water bottles, t-shirts, bags and a school supply line also available at Staples. Whatever you purchase, the Track Your Impact feature allows you to log on and see where, how and what your purchase is doing to help. Whether it is giving a child medicine, giving women a sustainable source of income or giving a family clean water for a month, each item from Me to We makes an impact.


Ten Thousand Villages and its Many Artisans

This incredible retailer has stores stocked with beautiful pieces from around the world. From Asia to South America to Africa, Ten Thousand Villages highlights arts from over 100 villages in almost 30 countries. You’ll find books, jewelry, home decor, music, coffee, chocolate and tableware, each with its own story of helping give someone a better quality of life. Besides the staples that are always in stock, you’ll always find unique and exotic home pieces. The Aquatic Plants Wall Hanging ($89 CDN) comes from Comité Artisanal Haïtien, a fair trade group based in Haiti that gives artisans a means of income, sometimes their only income. Through Ten Thousand Villages, these artisans receive fair wages, advances on orders and financial assistance in health emergencies. This piece is made out of 55-gallon metal drums that are pounded out and then chiseled to create the pattern. The stunning Fanfare Reverse-Painted Tray ($99 CDN) is a hand-painted wooden tray from the Peru-based group Manos Amigas, meaning “hands joined in friendship.” Sales from this tray go towards Ninos Felices, a program that provides breakfast to underprivileged children and offers artisans workshops and trainings. The Treasure of India Chest ($70 CDN) is made from mango wood and recycled saris by the Tara Projects group, a group that’s pioneering the way for its artisans by fighting for fair wages, adult literacy programs, and education opportunities for women and children, while working to eliminate unfair trade practices, child labour and exploitation of artisan.


Geeta Wahab


Cultivating a life she loves, Geeta (@geets.suites) is chasing all her passions, including her love for home décor. As a brand new home owner, her current journey has launched her further into that world - check out her Instagram @geets.suites for tidbits of her story and other decorating pieces. A...


Newsletter Sign Up

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter for all of the latest news, articles, and videos delivered directly to your inbox each day!

  • PLEASE NOTE: Some of the contents of the newsletter may not be suitable for minors.

    Join A Community That Cares About What Matters To You!

    We Fearlessly Celebrate Our

    Desi Identity!