LAGUNA BEACH, California — Lauren Conrad, made famous by MTV for her stint as a reality television actress, is making a new name for herself, and it’s not just in the fashion or young adult literary worlds.
Partnering with a close friend and classmate from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles where Conrad was enrolled in 2006, Lauren Conrad co-founded The Little Market, an e-commerce site dedicated to helping artisans, particularly women in developing countries, reach a wider market. The result: underserved women worldwide who are given an opportunity to follow in Conrad’s footsteps and try their hands at entrepreneurship.
Lauren and co-founder Hannah share a common passion for travel, learning about new cultures, design and giving back, particularly where women are concerned. Shared trips to El Salvador, India, Indonesia and Nepal among other countries inspired Lauren and Hannah to find a way to help disadvantaged yet highly talented artisan women find more success.
Lauren and Hannah visited local markets in developing countries throughout their travels, and were inspired by the ways in which each market’s beautiful treasures represented a unique set of culture, skills and design. They saw an opportunity to give more people access to these one-of-a-kind goods, while at the same time enabling women to craft for a steady income.
Every single item on the Little Market’s online shop was handmade by artisans who are paid a living wage for their work, and funds from the online purchases go directly back to those artisans. As a result of this partnership, artisans are able to increase their income, and better the quality of life for themselves and for their families and children — and the generations to follow.
Women living in poverty represent the majority of the world’s poor; 70 percent of the world’s one billion poorest people are women, and yet they work two-thirds of the world’s working hours.
Lauren Conrad found a unique way to translate the beautiful work of artisans in developing countries worldwide into a weapon against the conditions of poverty by empowering women with an opportunity to sustain their own businesses. By connecting people with these women, Lauren is working to change the cycle of poverty for many women and their families.
“The market has always served as a gathering place… a place where a global community can come together to combat poverty, empower communities and create social justice,” states Conrad.
For more information about The Little Market and its big impact, or to shop its wide selection of artisan goods visit www.thelittlemarket.com.
– Elizabeth Nutt