The Little Market was born from a powerful friendship and a big idea. Co-founders Hannah Skvarla and television personality Lauren Conrad met in 2006 at fashion design school, where they became fast friends with a shared love of style, travel and philanthropy.
As the two extensively traveled around the world, they found inspiration in colorful local markets, and were also moved by the talented and vibrant women who handcrafted the goods.
On one trip to Africa together in 2012, Conrad and Skvarla began conceptualizing an online home décor store that would sell fair trade goods – including an array of accessories for entertaining?– by talented artisans across the globe.
“Lauren and I knew we wanted to do something that would develop a really meaningful and long-term impact on women and children,” explains Skvarla.
“Around the world, women?don’t have equal rights, but through financial stability, their rights can advance,” she adds. “The Little Market represents two of our abiding passions: finding and preserving traditional techniques and handmade goods, as well as empowering women worldwide.”
When The Little Market first launched in 2013, it partnered with eight artisan groups in five countries. Today, the business has grown to work with more than 40 artisan networks in more than 20 countries, including Vietnam, Haiti, Rwanda and the United States.
The handpicked products, ranging from woven trays to candles, glassware and napkins, among many other items, each carry a curated aesthetic fueled by Conrad and Skvarla’s keen eyes for design.
Purchases of the handmade items also help empower vulnerable populations, including women and children, people with disabilities, those living in extreme poverty and refugees who are fleeing violence. This online shopping experience checks all the right boxes.
“Our mission, ultimately, is that our partners can support themselves while preserving their traditions and earning a sustainable income,” says Skvarla.
Indeed, from their work with The Little Market, countless artisans have been able to give their children a higher quality of education, buy more nutritious food, learn essential job and financial skills and much more.
As to what the future holds, Skvarla says the online emporium will continue to expand its artisan outreach as well as the number of organizations it wants to partner with worldwide.
There’s an added bonus: The Little Market’s customers don’t need to travel far and wide to find authentic, one-of-a-kind goods for home entertaining anymore.
For more information, visit thelittlemarket.com.