Imagine: You just found the perfect bit of bling-bling for your impossible-to-please teen daughter, AND you gave direct support to the family of a hard-working artisan in a developing country. In a perfect world? Nope. Right here.
Mi Arte Es Su Arte, a direct importer of fine handcrafts and artwork from the rich and diverse cultures of Latin America, announces its grand opening in September, 2004 at 109 4th Street in Historical Railroad Square, Santa Rosa.
Born out of love for Latino artistic traditions and the conviction that art transcends cultures, Mi Arte Es Su Arte regularly allocates part of its profits to stimulate and support art in Latin America.
Co-founder Jaime Pe?aherrera explains: "By providing constant feedback, we help artists and artisans to improve their products. We also support and embrace Fair Trade practices and respect the environment. These are not business people, so we also do the heavy lifting of marketing and selling for them. We help them export their art to the world, letting them concentrate on what they do best: creating beautiful artistic objects. We're extremely proud of the positive economic impact we've made for these families. It's very gratifying to see people accomplish their dreams, and knowing that somehow we have contributed to that dream. "
Born and raised in Ecuador, Mr. Pe?aherrera has seen economic and political unrest first hand. When he arrived in the US fifteen years ago, he spoke no English and had no money and no family. Even so, he earned a master's degree in government from Harvard University and an MBA in marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University. In the midst of a successful career in sales, marketing and strategy, he found time to start his business with a website, mi-arte-es-su-arte.com.
Because Mi Arte Es Su Arte purchases directly from the artist, there are no distributor costs--the savings belong to the customer. Better yet, in the near future, online orders will ship directly from the artisan's country, saving even more in transportation and inventory costs. Again, the savings will go to the customer.
Image: Detail from "The Claw" by David Rodriguez, Guatemala
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