Today I’m handing over the blog to the people behind ethical marketplace, Discovered. I’m a big fan of startups that keep the artisans and their communities front and center in their branding and narratives, and Discovered solves a lot of the issues around profit sharing and infrastructure preservation by using a marketplace model. I hope you enjoy this inside look into the brand.
Discovered: an online marketplace with meaning
Discovered is a new online marketplace for handmade goods from all over the world. The products that comprise Discovered are unique and impeccably made, but most importantly, with everything you buy, you make a difference in the lives of talented artisans around the world.
The simple idea behind Discovered is to give artisans from emerging countries like Mexico, India, and Indonesia direct access to the global market and thus, to you. The artisans who sell on our marketplace are mainly women. They make amazing products, but, in most cases, they don’t get a fair price for their work since most of the profit goes to the middlemen. By cutting out the middlemen, Discovered helps them take home a higher share of profits.
With artisans from over 25 countries, Discovered is certainly one of the most diverse online marketplaces, with a great collection of jewelry, bags, accessories and home décor. The artisans are skilled in making these particular handmade goods, so you can rest assured that all products on offer are high quality while also maintaining a reasonable price point.
Discovered empowers artisans through business
Gijsbert van der Sleen founded Discovered in 2012 with the ambition to create social and environmental change, operating from the viewpoint that businesses can be used to bring about a positive social impact. In his words: “I strongly believe people want to develop themselves through business, but sometimes they don’t have the recourses to do so.”
During his travels, he noticed that all of the handmade goods he saw at local markets had unique stories and backgrounds, which intrigued friends and family back home. The artisans he interacted with asked Gijsbert whether there was an opportunity to share those stories with a larger audience in his home country. These artisans were already skilled in making beautiful, unique goods and knew how to run their own businesses. The only thing they lacked was a channel through which they could sell directly to customers in Great Brittan, the United States, Australia, Canada and European countries.
The Discovered Marketplace was a perfect solution, providing access to the global market and helping the artisans gain more visibility. Giving them direct access to the global market is what we believe embodies real fair trade. Rather than create completely new business in other countries, we can create work and income for preexisting artisans, and their local economies are supported, as well.
More than an online marketplace
So, how does Discovered work? It is very easy for artisans to open their own online shop. They simply make a profile and upload pictures of their products. This way, visitors have the opportunity to discover more about the stories behind the products. They can see who crafted it and where their money goes when they buy an item. A Discovered product is never just a product; it is a product with a personal story and with meaning.
But it’s not just artisans who can share their stories, As a visitor you can also share your own stories and make inspiration boards with products you love. You can, for example, share your own travel stories and connect to artisans from the countries where you’ve been. Through this feature, we hope that Discovered can be a community rather than merely a brand.
Discover something unique
If you love to travel, you probably know the feeling of wandering around and discovering the most beautiful places, meeting friendly people and finding unique products. Once you’re home you like to show off your one-of-a-kind souvenirs and tell the stories behind them. The advantage of our marketplace is that you can find a wide range of handmade goods, like jewelry, bags, and home décor with similar stories to tell.
Take for example Artesanas Campesinas, a rural woman’s artisan cooperative from Mexico. These inspirational women are artisan farmers from small villages who live mainly off of seasonal agricultural work. To help make up for dry periods in the agricultural year – and pay for things like clothing, electricity and school for their children – the women produce handmade jewelry and other items using traditional techniques that they learned from their grandparents. When you buy a pair of earrings from Artesanas Campesinas you directly support a family in Mexico and help them to earn school fees for their children.
|Scenes from the Artesanas Campesinas cooperative|
Shop amazing items with meaning without leaving your house
On Discovered, you’ll find more than 12.000 beautiful products, handmade by 282 artisans. We are constantly scouting for new artisans all over the world to ensure a continuous flow of new, eye-catching products to our website.
So the next time you’re looking for something special and made with care, discover exactly what you’re looking for at the Discovered marketplace.