Lauren Conrad and pal Hannah Skvarla began The Little Market after bonding in school over their love of travel, design and female empowerment. Conrad and Skvarla connect female artisans from around the world with consumers looking for beautiful handmade products with a global feel. These female artisans from places like India, Ghana and Bolivia are now able to overcome poverty, support their communities and even pay for their children’s education.
I first heard about The Little Market while watching The Real Girl’s Kitchen with Haylie Duff on the Cooking Channel. On this particular episode, Duff cooked a Moroccan inspired feast with Skvarla and Conrad. The meal was plated with sweet lemon ceramic dishes made in Tunisia sold by The Little Market. The dishes only served to make the meal even more authentic, beautiful and enjoyable. While watching, I enjoyed hearing the story behind the company. It was endearing to hear how excited Conrad and Skvarla were about their venture to help other female entrepreneurs make their dreams come true. I’m all for women helping women.
How It Works
Through this platform, a loose knit group of artisans are able to share their traditional skills and wares among a wider audience. Conrad and Skvarla also offer their unique design insights to help these artisans’ businesses flourish.
To maintain its integrity, the Little Marketplace practices fair trade principles. While each purchase generates income for the artisans, over time they are able to see a sustainable change in their daily lives. They can pay for their children’s school. With the help of local cooperatives/non-profits, artisan partners contribute to their community through health programs, trade education and literacy workshops. Artisan collectives that partner with The Little Market must also comply with safety standards, child labor laws, workplace conditions and such.
Why It Matters
The Little Market has grown to empower dozens of artisans around the world.
Founders Conrad and Skvarla continue to be humbled by the talent and success of their artisan partners. The duo witnesses the positive change the income is making on these artisans’ lives. The social and economic impact on their artisan partners is a huge part of how The Little Market measures its success. By helping some of the most disadvantaged groups to reach markets they would otherwise not have access to, the difference the company makes is life changing.
The Little Market sells everything from accessories like scarves and clutches, to baby products like blankets and bibs, and home décor products like candles, baskets, tableware or even chocolate. Shop http://www.thelittlemarket.com/ online or follow their journey @thelittlemarket on Instagram.
Images courtesy of The Little Market, except second image courtesy of Ora.TV. Collage by me.