A Look Back at April 2023

Happy May!! Another month has passed, so we hope you enjoy reading about our project highlights from April, a month filled with new experiences and travel.

Expanding US Market Knowledge in South Africa

In March and April, ATA Training Director Lauren Barkume was invited by the U.S. Embassy in South Africa on a U.S. Speaker Program. Lauren visited 5 cities across South Africa over two weeks and ran 9 workshops and 6 One-on-One coaching sessions with South African creative entrepreneurs.

Participants included exporting handmade business owners, development professionals, photographers, students, and emerging creative entrepreneurs. Lauren also met with eMarket Readiness Program alumni, as well as a 2022 Canvas Home Small Grant recipient from the H18 Foundation.

Lauren spoke on topics related to US market trends, export readiness, photography, marketing, costing and pricing, as well as starting a creative business. Lauren told us: “I was so honored to be invited back to South Africa by the US Embassy to speak with entrepreneurs around the country. It was inspiring to connect with so many incredibly talented creatives and share lessons learned on how to grow a business.” 

Pictured: Workshop on exporting your creative products to the USA in Johannesburg (top left), KwaNdebele with Sophie Mahlangu and Esther Mahlangu, famous South African artists (bottom left), ATA US Market Entry Session 1 in Durban, SA with Bili Beadwear founder (middle image), Presentation in Cape Town at the University of KwaZulu Natal-Centre for Creative Arts (bottom right)

The delicious flavors of Tamula’s marmalades, honeys, and nut butters are derived from fresh, natural ingredients and handmade by native Mayan women. The recipes themselves are written by Food Specialist Dondrill Glover, founder of the food brand Ahmesa. To make sure all of Tamula’s recipes are perfect and ready for the US market, Dondrill travelled to the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico to taste and improve current recipes, while also adding new ones to the collections. She started by visiting the community of San Francisco Suc tuc, in the Hopelchen municipality in Campeche, where she worked together with the peanut farmers to develop new recipes with traditional ingredients.

She then worked with 10 female producers from Xmaben, Campeche and helped them develop two new salsa recipes: one including zucchini and the other cucumber. She improved the flavors in the already existing pineapple salsa and tangerine marmalades, while also ensuring the traditional Mexican techniques and flavors are still showcased. Once back home in New York City, Dondrill told us:

“The time with the artisans within their community – was a rich learning and personally meaningful for me-the makers and their culture.”

Tamula is made possible through the partnership of Ethics Foods and Ahmesa.

Pictured: Dondrill Glover spending a day in Suc-Tuc developing orange and vanilla Honey (top right), Suc-Tuc developing orange and vanilla honey (bottom left), Group “Mujeres campesinas para la producción y conservación” from Xmben, Campeche (middle image), Women from Campeche developing 2 new recipes (bottom right)

Have you heard of High Point Market? This is a tradeshow that is different from others! The whole town of High Point, North Carolina turns into one large trade show with both temporary and many permanent showrooms from all the major furniture and home décor brands. This market is more than a tradeshow.

It offers showrooms, yes, but they also hold conferences, opportunities to network, and more! President and Chairman of the Board for Creative Learning Bill Kruvant, Founder and Chairperson of the Board of Creative Associates International Charito Kruvant, Director of Aid to Artisans Maud Obe, and Training Director Lauren Barkume, visited High Point Market for the very first time.

They had the opportunity to explore many show rooms, including that of Eastern Accents, a luxury home textiles company, where they met the founder, Ridvan Tatargil. The team met many new faces as well as old friends, making the High Point experience one to remember.

Pictured: ATA team having breakfast with longtime friend and trends expert Patti Carpenter (top left), Easter Accents showroom entrance (bottom left), building at High Point Market (bottom center), CEO Bill Kruvant and Patti Carpenter looking at products (bottom right).

Dos Tierras exhibited for the very first time at the Caravana Americana show at Cities Summit of the Americas in Denver, Colorado! Since 2016, Caravana Americana has represented over 300 Latin American brands through its in person shows in Mexico City and 2 virtual shows. Now they have expanded into the US!

Dos Tierras displayed a range of products from multiple collections, all handmade by artisans in Mexico.

Guillermo Jester, the head of Dos Tierras, shared that:

“This is the first time we participated in Caravana outside of Mexico! It was great to be a part of this platform that gathers together Latin American designs, so we are very happy with the results and in how people appreciated and valued our work and handmade goods in another country!” 

Image: All images show products in the Dos Tierras booth at the show

What’s to Come This Month

Interested in what’s coming in May?

-Free webinars on May 11th on Brand Storytelling with Kelly Bennett and another on May 25th discussing Marketing Services provided by Annie Waterman

-We will say thank you to our intern, Anupriya Mishra, for her dedicated hard work with ATA over the past 2 months

-Launch of the Are You Ready to Export Quiz on Artisan Business Lab

-ATA will be meeting with six visitors from India, many of whom work to empower female entrepreneurs. This visit is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program

Image: Workshop at Imbali in South Africa