What is Artisan Business Lab?

Artisan Business Lab is an online platform created by Aid to Artisans that offers a more direct way to help you accelerate the growth of your artisan business by providing you with self-paced courses, one-on-one coaching sessions with industry experts, webinars, networking events, and our annual live training event known as the eMarket Readiness Program. With courses and resources spanning all areas of running a business, you are sure to find the one that speaks to you.

Our History

Artisan Business Lab is powered by Aid to Artisans (ATA), a division of Creative Learning Inc. ATA is a non-profit organization with a mission to create economic opportunities for artisan groups around the world where livelihoods, communities, and craft traditions are marginal or at risk.

The Artisan Business Lab concept was created at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as a means to continue Aid to Artisans mission of providing educational opportunities tailored specifically for artisan entrepreneurs globally.

Our Courses

Artisan Business Lab offers an array of courses that cover multiple topics related to running an artisan business.

If you are looking for a quick learning experience, explore our free course offerings or mini courses. Want to do a deep dive into a specific topic? Join one of our larger courses. Interested in really expanding your business? Join our annual, live, online training program, the eMarket Readiness Program.

Whether you are new to the industry or have been an artisan entrepreneur for years, we are sure you will find a course that fits your needs. Learn more by exploring our courses!

One on One Coaching

Are you unsure about how to reach a new market? Facing challenges with your costing and pricing? Need help with reviewing your new product collection? Just need someone to help guide you in the right direction?

Our instructors are here to help you! Get all the answers you need with personalized, one on one coaching with industry experts

Our Customized Training

With more than 45 years of experience in field-based training, we are able to customize training programs at every experience level to suit organizational needs and goals and build the capacity of artisan enterprises. It can range from full development of custom seminars, including demonstrations and training materials, to smaller programs that simply provide one of our expert consultants to focus on a specific area.

Want to learn more? Email us for more information: [email protected]

Meet Your ATA Mentors

Our course authors are experts with over 55 years combined experience in the artisan sector, Annie Waterman, Mimi Robinson, Stacey Edgar and Lauren Barkume have worked in over 50 countries to grow artisan businesses through branding, product development, costing and pricing and marketing.

They understand the challenges of running and growing a businesses in the artisan sector because they have been there themselves.

Stacey Edgar
Artisan Business Marketing

Founder of Global Girlfriend, author of Global Girlfriends and social impact business consultant to fair trade companies, social enterprises, artisan businesses, nonprofits, corporations and social entrepreneurs like you.

Stacey is a professor in the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, as well as the founder of a company that has sold millions of dollars over 15 years in fairly traded products, impacting the lives of thousands of women and their families. 

Mimi Robinson Artisan Product Development & Design

Mimi Robinson is a Creative Director, Author and award-winning designer. She has 25 years international expertise in product development, design and artisan mentoring. As a long-time consultant to Aid to Artisans, she has collaborated with artisan enterprises in over fifty countries. In addition, Mimi has designed and sourced successful private label collections for such companies as Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, and Williams-Sonoma and Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. As an educator, she has been an adjunct professor at Rhode Island School of Design and California College of the Arts.

Annie Waterman
Artisan Branding

Founder of AOW Handmade, Annie O. Waterman has accrued over 14 years of experience working within the global artisan sector. Annie helps her clients source socially responsible artisan products and cultivates mutually beneficial partnerships between buyers and artisans.

Annie offers support for artisan brands & wholesalers looking to move towards a direct to consumer model, who want to explore niche markets or need help developing creative content & marketing strategies.

Nathalie Tancrede
How to Prepare for an International Tradeshow

Nathalie Tancrede is a social entrepreneur and artisan advocate who enjoys working side by side with creatives to help them reach their highest potential.

Over the last decade, Nathalie used her expertise in capacity building, training, sales and marketing combined with her human resources management and operations skills to connect global brands such as Macy’s, West Elm, Anthropologie, and international designers to artisan communities around the world.

Nathalie collaborates with organizations like NYNOW, Creative Learning, Caribbean Export and more to lead tailored export marketing training to artisan enterprises seeking to reach global markets. She’s worked with artisans from Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Rwanda, Tunisia, Egypt, Madagascar, Mali, South Africa, France, Ecuador, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, Nepal, Iraq, Turkey, USA and United Arab Emirates.

Nathalie currently resides in New York City with her family.

Lauren Barkume Artisan Costing & Pricing

Lauren Barkume is the Training Director at Creative Learning's Aid to Artisans division. With over 15 years of experience working with artisans, she spent 9 years based in South Africa working directly with entrepreneurs, artisans, and small businesses in the region, developing community co-created programs, designing and running practical business skills workshops for small business owners, and working in collaboration with artisan communities across Southern Africa. Now based in Washington D.C., Lauren is a business owner and professional photographer. Lauren cares deeply about facilitating responsive, community driven development.

Marcella Echavarria
How to Prepare for an International Tradeshow

Marcella Echavarria is a lifestyle specialist who collaborates with designers and artisans around the world developing links that connect local knowledge with global trends, making her the perfect instructor for this new course!

She founded SURevolution in 2005 in collaboration with Donna Karan, one of the first global brands to link the world of luxury with the handmade. In 2010 she started her boutique consulting firm focused on strategic branding and creative communication, and in 2018 Marcella started XTANT, a yearly global gathering dedicated to heritage textiles, along with Kavita Parmar. Marcella also has experience in the publishing world as editor of magazines such as Harper's BazaarHand Eye, and more!