While most fair-trade businesses up until now have made social consciousness their major selling point, a new company, based in Indonesia by the name of CraftNetwork has built its business on a more traditional model: large quantities of uniform products, built to near exact specs and supplied at competitive prices.
Chris Benz, the company’s founder, has arranged for over a thousand artisans to create an array of products such as jewelery, home decor, sculptures and other decorative products. The artisans work in their homes or village workshops, allowing CraftNetwork to sell large quantities of product to major wholesale buyers, and ultimately delivering profits back to the artisans themselves.
Benz says, “I have a whole village employed, a whole village that’s bringing in $70,000 a month – based on one order.” That one order was from Carnival Cruise Line, which has bought 50,000 books weaved of banana leaves.
As an added benefit, CraftNetwork also provides financial advice, computer literacy training, and business building techniques to their team of freelancers.
Via: CraftNetwork, BusinessWeek