TranquiliT is delighted to be a featured designer on Nest. Their tagline is "changing the world one purchase at a time." LOVE it! Here's the scoop on this amazing organization.
Nest is a nonprofit organization that empowers female artists and artisans around the world. Using a unique combination of interest-free microfinance loans, mentoring from established designers, as well as a market in which to sell their crafts, Nest helps its loan recipients create successful small businesses. Nest instills pride of ownership, preserves ancient artistic traditions and successfully moves women from poverty to self-sufficiency.
To address some of these limitations to microfinance, Nest has developed a new way to assist women; we call it “microbarter.” We provide women, or cooperatives of women, with loans that allow them to purchase the supplies, training, bazaar space or raw materials needed to make their crafts. However, rather than requiring repayment in cash, we encourage women to repay their loans in product, which we would market and sell in the United States. These beautifully crafted pieces are available on our website under “Shop Loan Recipients” and at selected retail outlets.
Why it Works
Nest microbartering has many benefits. One, it encourages women to develop businesses using skills they already possess. Two, it supports ancient artistic traditions. Three, Nest does much more than lend money. Through our mentoring by established designers, our financial and business curriculum, our western marketplace and our wrap-around services, we fully support women as they move from poverty to self-sufficiency. Fourth, we provide you, the consumer, with expertly handcrafted merchandise from around the world.
We partner with domestic designers, who offer us exclusive pieces that we sell on our website (you can find them under “collections”), with the proceeds going to fund additional artisans. These designers also mentor our loan recipients, giving them valuable business, marketing and design advice. In this way, Nest has created a community of artists helping artists, and women helping women, the world over.
Women in developing countries face hardships complicated by lower levels of education, lower social status and talents and abilities that do not always translate into productive employment. And when women are poor or undernourished, children and families are also deprived, resulting in cycle of poverty that is difficult to break.
Since the inception of micro-credit in early 1970s, loans of this type, made to women, have had remarkable success. Women are more likely to both repay their loans and devote their earnings to assisting the family. Furthermore, when women are given the opportunity to create their own businesses and earn a stable income, their social standing in the family and in the community improves. By giving women the tools they need to provide for their families, micro-credit loans give stability and hope to families and communities.
Why art-based businesses?
Women have been artists through the centuries, whether they are creating utilitarian household objects, clothes for the family or decorative objects for themselves, the female artistic tradition is a way of defining and maintaining the community. By providing entrepreneurial loans to craftswomen and artisans, their life can become their livelihood and the decorative objects that are the fruits of their labor can be enjoyed by discerning patrons throughout the world.