After a long selection process, we were delighted to discover that Martizana was selected, in February 2016, with 6 other artisan businesses across the world to join the Alliance community. In this post, we tell how we made and what we'll benefit from this membership.
You can checkout the entire list of the Alliance members here
The Alliance for Artisan Enterprise was launched by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012 as a public-private partnership with the U.S. Department of State and the Aspen Institute. The Alliance is a collaborative effort of artisan businesses, artisan support organizations, corporations, foundations, government and multilateral agencies, and individuals working together to support the full potential of artisan enterprise.
How we knew about the Alliance
In September 2015, The Alliance was about to launch a global campaign to tell the story of artisans. They wanted to engage artisans, artists, and supporters to tell the story of artisans through a multimedia competition. The multimedia competition was opportunity for people around the world to be a part of it. Artisans, artists, and supporters from around the world we're called to submit photos, videos, mural designs, and essays that capture the creative beauty and economic impact of the sector.
We made it to the final
The US embassy in Morocco nominates us to this competition and we made it to the final amongst 143 artisan support organizations representing 43 countries. We were invited to Washington to take part in the 3-days campaign launch event where the US Secretary of State John Kerry US Secretary of State John Kerry made a heart touching speech at the forum, stressing the artisan sector is where to begin to help developing countries economy and noticing that consumers today care more and more about where something comes from, who produced it, under what conditions did they produce.
'And finally, I hope all of us will agree there will always be a hunger for beauty. Those who can create that beauty – whether with their hands or their voices or their minds – they will always find a warm welcome somewhere, and that is, I’m glad to say, more than true here at the United States State Department in September of 2015. We value it, we want it to thrive and flourish, and we want everybody to enjoy it, and I am convinced this effort of artisans is a way to do that.'
What we learnt
First, it was our first time in US. We stopped at Washington DC. and New York and we met amazing people. We really appreciated the general mindset in these two cities.
We spent three days with artisan sector stakeholders : Designers, artisans, investors,handmade fair managers and founder. This was the first tim we were meeting people operating in artisan sector all over the world. It was interesting to discover that the intermediation probelm was global. Wherever many specialists accorded that an ethical intermediation is necessary to push artisan businesses forward. We also showcased some moroccan artisans products (custom buckles, hand painted tiles, laptop case made of moroccan rug and leather)
For the last day, we were invited to the Aspen Institute. Sucessful artisan business gave us their feedback and we had a workshop to understand the chainvalue of artisan sector using an Alliance toolkit