Core to Nest’s program delivery are fellowship and mentorship engagements, which help artisan entrepreneurs increase their business acumen through collaboration with industry experts.
Whether working hand-in-hand with artisans onsite or leveraging technology to collaborate across borders, Nest’s network of professional fellows are bringing targeted, high-impact and scalable consulting to an ever-growing handworker population.
In Their Words
“I really feel like my very wide retail and customer experience is something important here. The best part has been establishing a relationship with Laddy, the store coordinator. Without my having any Spanish language skills, we were able to communicate; and whatever improvements I have suggested, she has accepted openly.”
Magda Tomaszewksi, Kering
“The Meso Goods artisans welcomed us into their homes and workshops, and we were able to collaborate with them for a purpose greater than the average travel portrait. It was a wonderful feeling, not only to be able to capture some beautiful images, but to know that these images would tell the wider story of their astonishing skill and deep cultural heritage, and through that legacy, illustrate the value of these one-of-a-kind pieces.”
Tai Power Seef, Professional Photographer
Although I thought I was simplifying their original designs, the weavers initially felt like they were more complex! It was important for me as a designer to understand their weaving process and to collaborate to achieve the result I wanted. While my designs were a departure from what the artisans were used to, we needed each other to strategize for success.
Jennie Lyutskanov, Womenswear Designer
Nest’s Employee Engagement Program is a type of fellowship program offered to corporations and foundations seeking to engage employees in delivering meaningful skill based mentorship to artisan entrepreneurs. Companies may host problem-solving sessions or artisan product feedback focus groups in their own headquarters via workshops facilitated by Nest employees, or artisans may travel to a corporation’s headquarters for immersive learning experiences that function as multi-day educational summits on business practice areas. Corporations may also offer employees paid leave days to visit artisans for immersive onsite experiences mentoring artisans hand-in-hand.
To accommodate our scaling impact, Nest has launched the Nest Expert Network—a trusted and skilled group of industry professionals who make a commitment to support artisan and maker businesses in the Nest Guild. Over a one-year period, members of the Nest Expert Network work directly with artisan businesses through a defined number of targeted pro-bono consultancies and mentorships. Members of the Network are recommended through our community of fellows and volunteers.
Through this community of experts, Nest can scale the delivery of programming and associated impact to the Nest Artisan and Maker Guild, which has grown 200% in the past two years alone.
Woven across much of Nest’s programming, fellows are industry professionals with experience in brand marketing, product design & development, sales, operations and other skills that can advance the growth of artisan businesses. Fellowship projects can range from mentorship calls to onsite engagements with members of the Nest Artisan Guild.