Professional Fellowship Program
Nest’s Professional Fellowship Program is designed to bridge the skills and education gap between artisans in emerging economies and professionals with the power to transfer their knowledge to those who need it most. Through cross-cultural exchange and pro bono development, Nest seeks to reenergize the craft sector, generating increased economic opportunity for millions of women.
The Nest Professional Fellowship volunteer program fosters collaboration and solution building directly between artisans and professionals. Based on your skills, experience and professional background, we invite you to find an artisan project that is right for you. Fellowships can take place both remotely from your desk or on-site via exciting travel around the world.
To become a Nest Professional Fellow, please join our Fellowship Network. Your $250 contribution enables Nest to deliver this invaluable program to our artisans. Once you have joined we connect you with an artisan and begin developing your remote fellow volunteer project.
If you would like to participate in an On-site Fellowship as an individual, you are asked to either raise $800, or join our Fellowship Network or Co-op Community and independently fundraise $500. Again, this contribution directly finances onsite programming costs associated to preparing for the fellowship – with no profit to Nest.
Please note that given Nest’s status as a registered 501(c)3 Non-profit, there are a number of associated financial advantages and opportunities available to you to help finance an On-site Fellowship. Following your application acceptance, Nest is happy to advise you on some of these options.
Our Fellowships are Impact Driven. Nest has worked with fellows coming from industry leaders including Oscar de la Renta, Rag & Bone, 3.1 Philip Lim, adidas, and Maiyet. As a result, artisan beneficiaries of Nest programming realized 76% increases in revenues and 45% production growth. A sampling of past fellowship projects include: Business Development , Environmental Conservation, Product Design & Design Mentorship, Sales & Marketing, Photography & Videography, Technology & Innovation
Nest Professional Fellowship Spotlight
Caroline Ashkar is a talented LA-based photographer and musician. She traveled to Nest’s Swaziland project to document a unique, month-long leather workshop. Caroline’s engaging photos captured the rare interaction and collaboration between the high-end contemporary craftsman and the increasingly sophisticated craft of rural Swaziland.
Sapna Shah, former Handbag Designer at Rag & Bone, traveled to Swaziland to work with all-female Nest artisan business partner, Gone Rural, on their creative team. Sapna’s fellowship goals centered on providing critical guidance, support and hands-on training in the design and production of a new line of Gone Rural handbags.
“For us, it was most helpful to learn about the most critical things to keep in mind when working with a client: clear communication, timeliness, quality control, and willingness to be upfront and open about capabilities.”
Amanda Lee, an Accessories Designer at Phillip Lim, traveled to Swaziland to work with the weavers at Rosecraft, assisting the businesses across verticals of production efficiency, systems management, design and product development. Since Amanda’s arrival, Rosecraft has been able to put her training into immediate practice, already realizing vast improvements in product quality and sales.