08 Aug, 2016
GlobeIn is California-based website that searches for artisans from all over the world, establishes direct business connections with them as well as with vetted partner organizations. It aims to connect global artisans with the global marketplace by featuring and selling handcrafted products made by those artisans. GlobeIn offers two types of subscriptions: Artisan Box and Benefit Basket, besides the opportunity to shop directly around GlobeIn’s website through the icon Shop where individual listings of various items from different categories are listed. We recently had a short conversation with GlobeIn about their experience in working with artisans all over the Globe.
ATA: Tell us about GlobeIn; how did this idea come up?
GlobeIn: This idea came up when Vladimir Ermakov, the co-founder of GlobeIn with his good friend and partner, David, inspired by the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mohammad Yunus’s innovative social business ideas, saw a need for a platform where small businesses in remote regions can market their own products and decided to create that platform for the artisans in developing countries.
ATA: How do you select the artisans’ products? How can an artisan be represented in Globe In?
GlobeIn: We’ve learned a lot about product market fit and what customers are most interested in. Based on the research and information we’ve collected, we work to find practical, yet unique artisan-made products from our current partners and new organizations. If we can’t find what we are looking for, we often collaborate with different artisans to create what we envision. Artisans and organizations interested in working with us and being included in our boxes can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ATA: How do you engage with artisans’ community?
GlobeIn: We work directly with a few artisan groups around the world. One in particular, which is very close to our hearts, is our group of weavers in Oaxaca, Mexico who make the handwoven palm leaf baskets that come in every box.
It started when we first met two of the weavers in rural Oaxaca about three years ago when GlobeIn was first getting started. Since then, it has grown to about fifty weavers and counting. As we grow, they grow. Before, the artisans would have to travel hours to the market in the main city to sell just a few of their baskets. Now, thanks to the money earned from selling their baskets to GlobeIn, the weavers are able to work from the comfort of their own homes and support their families. As it has grown, we’ve been able to employ new artisans who previously struggled to find work and a source of income, as well.
ATA: What resources and services the artisans get if they are represented in GlobeIn?
GlobeIn: Part of our mission is to give artisans global reach. When we feature products and the stories of the people behind those products in our boxes and online shop, we are giving them exposure to customers around the world. We are a platform for artisans to obtain global reach, and for customers to discover unique fair trade and ethically produced products from around the world.
ATA: Who are you targeting in terms of subscriptions? How do these subscriptions benefit the artisans?
GlobeIn: GlobeIn’s goal is to feature products appealing for the socially-responsible consumers who are interested in buying well-made unique products that not only look good, but do social good. When consumers buy one of our subscription boxes, they are supporting remarkable, remote artisans who earn fair prices for the products they make. Moreover, subscription model allows us to place large volumes with the producers. As a result, we are able to optimize logistics, offer our customers great value products, while ensuring that more money goes to the artisans. For artisans large orders also mean a steady income that is predictable and reliable, something they appreciate much more than large but unpredictable payouts.
ATA: What need/gap did you see in the market and how does GlobeIn address this need/gap? What is the purpose?
GlobeIn: While organizations like Kiva can help start small businesses in remote regions, they still needed a platform to take them to the next level. We decided to build this platform for the artisans in developing countries.
ATA: What would you site as one of GlobeIn’s successes to date?
GlobeIn: In the past year, we have grown our number of subscribers from 300 to over 3,000.
And as we’ve grown, our weavers in Oaxaca, Mexico have grown, not only with new weavers joining the cooperative, but the weavers themselves have been able to benefit tremendously from their earnings.
ATA: What are your plans for 2016 and beyond?
GlobeIn: Our goal is to get 5,000 subscribers by the end of 2016! With that, we plan to discover and introduce more artisan products and stories to more consumers, while making an impact on the artisans and communities that we are sourcing from.
To learn more about GlobeIn and its resources, click here!