This International Women’s Day is an extra special one. Here at Meridian, women are at the core of everything we do and celebrate year-round. The majority of our artisan partners are women: Female artisans who run their own businesses, members of Fair Trade cooperatives, or those who support multi-generational family organizations.
Every day, our artisan partners work with their hands to provide education for their children, gain access to quality healthcare, create jobs for their communities and safeguard ancient crafts that might otherwise be lost.
In other words, our artisan partners are FIERCE. They work together to build each other up. They love and support each other, and believe in community, not competition.
We are proud to stand by our female artisans and other female-driven companies around the world to preserve artisan crafts and empower women across the globe to find sustainable and fair employment.
So today – and everyday – find a chance to tell your fellow ladies how much you appreciate their love and support.
Who runs the world?
Top Photo: Meridian Founder Ashley Viola stands with one of our basket weavers from Zimbabwe.
Basket Weaving Coop in Zimbabwe
Our partners in Zimbabwe are an organization of over 80 women who have learned to weave from each other and their ancestors. Their earnings are used to support their families and cover schooling fees for their children.
Fair Trade Bead Artisans in Ghana
Our Recycled Glass Bead collection is handmade by a Fair Trade women’s cooperative in Ghana. Their entire process uses locally sourced and recycled materials. As members of the coop, the artisans are paid on average 3x Ghana’s minimum wage.
Block Print Textile Workers in India
Female artisans at our Block Print partner’s workshop in Rajasthan, India, play a key role in quality control and finishing touches. Each piece produced must pass through their capable hands to ensure all details are completed at the highest quality.
Mother-Daughter Weaving Team in Mexico
Our artisan partners in Southern Mexico create the textiles featured in our Chiapas Wool collection. Each piece has been handwoven on a backstrap loom by a mother and adult daughter team who have been weaving for multiple generations. They learned to weave from their elders and tell us that “weaving and family are the two things that keep [them] going” and “the reason [they] are alive.”
Woman-Led Bone Inlay Workshop in India
Our Bone Inlay partners are a woman-led, family-owned operation in Rajasthan, India. Each piece takes a team of artisans to create it, and the process takes several weeks to complete. Female artisans are responsible for sanding and polishing bone inlay boxes and picture frames after the patterns have been set.
Traditional Marble Work in India
Marble carving in India is an ancient art form that was once reserved for royalty. Our partners use time-honored techniques to create our marble bowls as well as larger pieces such as statues. Women provide detailed sanding work and finishing touches at our partner’s facility in Rajasthan.
Fair Trade Weaving Coop in Rwanda
Our Rwanda basket collection features creations by a Fair Trade organization that works with artisans in rural villages to provide education, job training, and fair wages. By using commerce to support these artisan communities, our partners are promoting self-sufficiency and sustainable development to these women entrepreneurs.
Meridian Founder Ashley Viola stands with a women’s march in Jaipur, India.