Maria, Lucia, and Raimunda Limoeira de Norte
Our trio of artisans are three sisters Maria, Lucia, and Raimunda in the northeast corner of Brazil. When we found them in a sparse 2-room home with only a foot powered sewing machine and some hammocks they had nothing to show us but a few pieces as they only made their beautiful terra cotta ceramics when someone in their village needed something, a very slow market for these sisters. Made with only their hands, a piece of gourd to shape the pottery, and a wood-fired kiln these ceramics have a special place for us here at Cross Trade. The sisters’ long running partnership with Cross Trade has helped them acquire much needed appliances like refrigerators, gas stoves, and even a bathroom.
Leila + Gilson Belem, Amazon Region
Co-founders Steve and Santini first met Liela at a sleepy Sunday market where artisans like her are given a mere few hours to sell their crafts. A difficult means to support a family of four. When Steve asked "How much?" Leila began to point out different styles of varying price but was stopped short by Steve. "How much for all of them, we’d like to buy them all.” Tears coming down her face she timidly asks for the equivalent of $30.00. “I don’t think that’s enough,” replied Steve. At well over double what she asked for we began a long running relationship with Leila and her partner Gilson. Through our long relationship they have earned enough sustained income to purchase a new home, much needed appliances and continue to support their three daughters.
Silvania + Joelia Mateiros, Toncantins
With no established market to cell to we found Silvania hand making beautiful trivets and placements only to be forced to sell them at a fraction of their value to buy what amounts to less than $5.00 worth of rice to feed her family. With CrossTrade's socially conscious buying model we were able to pay double her sale price, buy her crafts in bulk, pay upfront and in cash. This partnership has given Silvania the hope and empowerment to bring her family out of poverty. Her beautifully handcrafted golden grass baskets can be found in our Homegoods section.