“We’re very excited to join the Fair Trade Federation in the movement to connect opportunity for artisans in the developing world,” says Chaka president Neil Paine. “Since the beginning, we’ve been working to create a spot in the global marketplace for the best, undiscovered artisans in the developing world. It’s great to be able to come alongside such a successful network striving towards this same goal.”
Started in 2009 by Paine and his co-founders, Chaka was created to connect the producers of hand-made goods with interested, but distant, buyers. Currently working with 41 artisans in Nicaragua, Chaka’s primary offerings are home décor items, including handmade ceramic pottery, handcarved wooden bowls and handcrafted ironwork. They also distribute completely handmade, designer leather purses, made by KUERO Nicaragua. (http://kueronicaragua.nicaragua-
The company emphasizes personally-made goods for a variety of reasons—not only do buyers receive top-quality products, but they also have a more relational connection with the artisans. Rather than offering mass-produced items, Chaka hopes to redefine the common understanding of “handmade goods.” Each piece that Chaka sells is signed by the artist that created it, making each item a one-of-a-kind work of art. The personalized touch is also a means that Chaka uses to develop relational connections across international boundaries. To connect retail outlets and consumers to the producer of each piece, Chaka provides video interviews, pictures and detailed biographies.
This dedicated approach is part of what earned Chaka acceptance by the FTF, which (according to the list of its values on its website) only includes companies that share an emphasis on Consumer Knowledge, Respectful Partnerships, and Community.
Anyone interested in Chaka and its products is encouraged to check out the company’s Facebook page or buy online through their website, http://chakamarketbridge.com.
About Chaka MarketBridge:
Chaka, a registered Benefit Corporation (B Corp) founded in 2009, is a team of two University of Virginia graduates and three Virginia Tech graduates. Despite this collegiate rivalry, the five have come together to help connect people from around the world. “Chaka,” which means “bridge” in the Quechua language, is dedicated to providing greater access to beautiful artisan products, and the beautiful artisan people who create them.
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Chaka MarketBridge is a fair trade market for quality, home décor and personal accessories handmade by the world’s best undiscovered artisans. We're dedicated to providing greater access to beautiful artisan products and the artisans who create them.