September 21, 2010

Project Artisan: a New Designer Shopping Portal Has Arrived!

After my shopping adventures from last week, I wanted to introduce you to another type of shopping experience: Project Artisan is a new shopping website featuring designers who focus on craftsmanship, sustainability and ethical practices.  You'll find really original accessories, clothes from indie labels. I've asked a few questions to Robin Keyser, the founder of Project Artisan: 

What's the concept behind Project Artisan, how did you get the idea? 
Project Artisan founder Robin Keyser grew up understanding the plight of garment factory workers.  Her mother and grandmother both worked in factories manufacturing the fashions of their day.  Robin was taught that every piece of clothing, every accessory, has a story.  As a lover of fashion, Robin was always discovering emerging designers and introducing them to her friends and family.  She was inspired to start her company because she saw the need for one site that would offer socially responsible emerging and established designers a way to reach a global marketplace. Project Artisan offers high-fashion, ethical luxury items that have been specially selected to appeal to the eye and to the soul.  

Who is the founder behind Project Artisan?
Robin Keyser  is a global fashion importer centered on fair trade practices in the garment industry. Robin  is a member of the Ethical Fashion Network
Long time volunteer Robin has been involved in numerous non-profit organizations including Second Harvest Food Bank, The American Heart Association and is on the Board of Directors for the Nashville Ballet.

What type of designers do you collaborate with? How do you pick the designers you want to work with?
Project Artisan designers produce high-fashion items in sustainable, socially responsible ways. That is what they all have in common.  Some of the designers are new, just emerging, and others have been established for quite some time.  Project Artisan likes offering new, emerging designers the opportunity to reach a larger audience. 

To find new designers, Robin Keyser and her staff constantly search the Internet, read blogs, page through fashion magazines, travel to retail stores and listen through word-of-mouth.  Recently, new designers have been contacting Project Artisan, wanting to be a part of the site.  A lot of research goes into the final selection, and we make sure that any new designer’s manufacturing practices fit within our ideals. 

All pictures: Alabama Chanin - featured designer of the month
What can we expect to see in the coming months? 
We are very excited about adding new designers both here in the US and internationally.  We have plans to open our doors to international e-commerce in the next few weeks and have a list of designers we can’t wait to invite to join us.

Two of the international designers we will be adding:

Nike Kondakis, who works with Maasai women in Kenya to produce the most amazing designs from recycled parachutes and Ariane Dutzi who was just mentioned in Marie Claire magazine for her burlap bags produced with the skilled hands of women in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Sounds interesting? Then, check out Project Artisan's website here.


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