Show menu

For Fifteen American Artisans, a Chance to Learn from the Talented Team at Hermès of Paris

On September 10th, Nest welcomed fifteen talented artisans from eight states across the United States to New York City for what would be an inspiring series of days to follow. 

Artisans were in town for Nest and Hermès’ second Convening on American Craft, an initiative to connect promising US-based craftspeople with the knowledgeable Hermès of Paris employees, with the goal of helping artisans to establish and grow a brand rooted in heritage craftsmanship. This year’s participating artisans: Sophia Keys, Apricity Ceramics; Chelsea Brewer, Brewer & Marr Glassworks; Cait Courneya, Cait Courneya; Erin Dollar, Cotton + Flax; Talaya Champion, Elidia the Label; Akilah Steward, FATRA; Lauren Rolph, Helen Edna; Kei Tsuzuki, Kei & Molly Textiles; Christine Marcelino, Materials + Process; Thomas Im, Mimot Studio; Natalie Borton, Natalie Borton; Sarah Abraham, Pine Rose & Co.; Sheila Palmer, Quetarshe Textiles Design Studio; Tess Leach, Ranchlands Mercantile; Yolonda Carter, YOGI DADA: brought with them a potpourri of craft expertise including letterpress stationery making, leather handbag making, hand painted jewelry making, stained glass making, and much more making. 

Participating artisans gather for a photo on the roof of the Hermes Meatpacking store in New York City

The artisans arrived eager to learn both from one another, as well as from the Hermès of Paris presenters, who delivered a powerful lineup of learning experiences designed to translate their deep and robust knowledge of branding, communications, omni-channel sales, in-store merchandising, post-purchase care, and human resources into actionable lessons for artisan participants to apply to their own brands. 

Beyond sessions hosted at the offices of Nest’s pro bono law partners, Foley & Lardner, the convening also invited artisans, many of whom were traveling to New York  from the West Coast for the first time, to experience the city’s vitality and culture. Alongside Hermès, we “crossed the line” below 14th Street for a rare behind-the-scenes tour of the brand’s new Meatpacking store, and later enjoyed a live theater performance at L’Alliance Francaise. The convening’s plentiful agenda was bookended by inspiring welcome remarks from Hermès of Paris CEO, Robert Chavez, and an impressive closing series of presentations given by the artisans themselves, who reflected on how their learnings would coalesce and inform the growth of their brands.

On our final day together, artisans bid fond farewells to newfound friends and discussed their plans to carry forth the convening’s collaborative nature with the formation of a Facebook group. In a letter to Nest following the convening, artisan, Cait Courneya, put words to the sentiments so many artisans shared: “I wanted to thank you for an incredible week with Nest and Hermès! There were many insights that I tucked away to apply to my own business and I was inspired and motivated to take my business to the next level.”

Thank you to our partners at Hermès of Paris for making this extraordinary experience possible, and congratulations to the fifteen artisan participants who embraced this unique learning opportunity.