Awamaki joins The Little Market following Nest impact trip to Peru
This winter, Nest Artisan Guild member business Awamaki joined the beautifully curated, socially driven ranks of The Little Market, launching on the brand’s e-commerce site and in-store in the Pacific Palisades with knitted children’s accessories, woven yoga bags, and pillows. The connection between the two organizations—both dedicated to economic empowerment of women through artisan craft—began last August when Lindsay Abrams, The Little Market’s Sales and Outreach Manager, joined Nest on an impact trip to Peru’s Sacred Valley. The trip connected Nest supporters with Nest Artisan Guild members in Peru to gain a firsthand understanding of the country’s heritage alpaca-fiber crafts. This included meeting with Alpaca herders, spinners, weavers and knitters who work with Awamaki.
Following the trip, both organizations were struck by the alignment between their respective missions and aesthetics, and continued the conversations that blossomed into partnership. As Awamaki Founder, Kennedy Leavens, remarked, “After the Nest visit, this partnership just fell into place! The Little Market is an incredible company, and one that we have been admiring as a potential partner for several years.”
The Little Market, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to the economic empowerment of women in need around the world through dignified job opportunities. The organization supports sustainable income through the purchase of ethically sourced products from more than 69 artisan groups in 28 countries, which are shoppable on their site and in their Pacific Palisades flagship store. Awamaki, which connects Andean artisan weavers with global markets as a means to empower women and girls, presented a natural fit as a partner.
Lindsay and The Little Market team echoed this sentiment, telling us: “Awamaki is handmade with love by female artisans who are able to preserve traditions while working in their communities and often at home. At The Little Market, we strive to support organizations and groups that employ the principles of fair trade and that support women in need. We fell in love with Awamaki’s mission and aesthetically pleasing products. Every product, from the knits to the pillows, is beautifully constructed and designed and then brought to life by artisan women practicing techniques such as knitting and back-strap loom weaving that have important cultural significance. Awamaki’s unique aesthetic draws from rich textile traditions. Plus, so many of Awamaki’s beautiful pieces worked seamlessly with our collection, requiring no product development from our team! After connecting with the group and learning more about their overall mission to support women, we knew Awamaki would be a perfect fit for The Little Market.”
An important aspect of Nest impact trips is to create opportunities for awareness and communication that extend well beyond traditional channels, and can translate into deeper partnerships that may otherwise be elusive. Kennedy wrote that for Awamaki this particular trip was an “opportunity to share our artisans’ work more broadly with global artisan sector leaders and influencers.” She added, “a small project like ours would never otherwise get that opportunity. This partnership is a major accomplishment for our project this year, and helps us get our artisans a much wider reach than we previously had.”
For Lindsay, what has stayed with her most six months after the Nest trip is an appreciation for the community-building capacity of craft work. “It was wonderful to see how these women are able to follow the design and direction of Awamaki’s vision, while working at their own pace and staying true to their own cultural techniques that have been passed on through generations, all within the comfort and convenience of their own community,” wrote Lindsay.
To learn more about the partnership, we invite you to visit Awamaki’s artisan profile on The Little Market and shop the collection, including the knitted baby beanies, woven pillows and yoga mat bag showcased in the feature photos!