Are you wondering how market trends

and US buyers have shifted during the pandemic?

What does the bundle include?

  • Two pre-recorded panel discussions from 2020 and 2021 with artisan retailers, wholesalers, and buyers in the US Market
  • Two pre-recorded panel discussions from 2020 and 2021 with experts in the artisan sector about global opportunities and trends in the artisan sector
  • A better understanding of how US buyers adapted to COVID-19
  • Access to the 2021 Handmade Buyer Research Report as soon as it is released

Meet the Buyers & Panelists

Our panels of buyers include US online retail shop owners, wholesale, a B2B artisan marketplace platform, and a buyer for a large US retail chain, Williams Sonoma.

With extensive experience working with artisans globally, our panels includes visionaries working in some of the most prominent organizations working with artisans today.

Robbie Stewart


Robbie Stewart is the principal and owner of Mbare, Ltd, a leading wholesaler in the US of art and craft from Africa.

The concept for what is today, Mbare, was developed during an independent study as part of the MBA program. In the language of the Shona People of Zimbabwe, mbare (pronounced "im-bah-ree") means "a gathering of things" or "a marketplace". "Mbare Ltd grew out of my desire to create a sustainable source of income for Zimbabwean artists.

In addition to running a successful import business for the past 17 years, Robbie has consulted for the Export Promotion Council of Kenya as well as the American Chamber of Commerce in Peru and has been on the NY NOW jury panel for 4 years.

Colleen Pendleton
Mercury Marketing

Colleen is an experienced agent and expediter focused on B2B sourcing, sales, and partnership development, working exclusively with artisan producers around the world. She is the founder of Mercury Marketing a sourcing agency working with William Sonoma Inc, the parent company of West Elm, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma Home, Rejuvenation and Mark & Graham. To date, she has been responsible for over $40 million in retail sales of products purchased from artisan businesses.

Alex Bates

Flint & Kent, Bloomist

Alex Bates' lifework is designing goods for good, building and leading teams for some of the biggest names in the business including GAP, Martha Stewart, and West Elm. While at West Elm she led the effort to expand the brand's audience with innovative collections of environmentally responsible products, artisanal goods, and designer- led collaborations.

Alex started Flint & Kent as a design consultancy ewith a special focus on social impact and has built a global community of like-minded artisan partners and makers.

Her latest business, Bloomist, is an online retailer with a focus on the natural home and sustainably made products. Alex is a co-founder | Creative Director of the brand and travels the world to design and curate simple goods with beauty, purpose, and a story to tell. 

Hedvig Alexander

Powered by People

She is the co-founder of Powered By People (PBP), a B2B platform connecting small batch and handmade brands and producers globally with international buyers through digital production tools and access to financing.

Hedvig is a Danish Army Captain and Yale graduate. She founded Far + Wide Collective, an online platform with a network of 5,000 artisan producers selling to 400 retailers in 18 countries. She led Building Markets adding 1.6% to Afghan GDP (‘06), was Managing Director of Turquoise Mountain and founded The Pin Project for refugees.

Jette Ladiges

World Fair Trade Organization

Jette is the World Fair Trade Organization’s Partnerships Manager. Jette leads on creating new projects and partnerships to support Fair Trade Enterprises around the world with a particular focus on creating new market opportunities for Fair Trade. Jette has created partnerships with commercial platforms and helped members to access them. Before coming to WFTO, Jette worked for Trade Aid in New Zealand.

Daniella Mastracci

Trade + Impact

The Trade+Impact Association was co-founded in July 2017 with the help of Daniella Mastracci and the Founding board members. Trade+Impact is a community where everyone is encouraged to contribute, consider, and cultivate women-led social enterprises in the craft and natural cosmetics sectors. Trade+Impact was established to support and champion these women-led social enterprises, raising awareness and advocating for these extraordinary businesses which both create exceptional products and make deep and profound impacts on their employees and their communities.
Covlin English

By Hand Consulting

Colvin has been marketing handmade products his whole life. His early career started with his family's wood-carving business where he developed his entrepreneurial spirit and understanding of all facets of running a business – a talent he carries through in his consulting today. Colvin serves as the National Sales Manager for several American handmade companies. He was the Director of Craft Marketing for George Little Management, a leading US trade show management company. And he co-founded Melange, a successful import / wholesale company offering handmade products from artisans worldwide. Today, as co-founder of ByHand, Colvin is the tireless traveler found in all corners of the world, working side-by-side with artisans to strengthen their businesses and increase their market exposure.
Cayley Pater

Made Trade

Cayley Pater and Andy Ives thought shopping for ethical and sustainable home decor, and clothing should be simple. So in 2018, they created Made Trade and brought the best ethically made and sustainably sourced goods to one place. On Made Trade, you can shop with confidence knowing every product we carry is rigorously assessed and verified for both sustainability and equity and adheres to at least two of Made Trade's eight core values.

Karen Gibbs

By Hand Consulting

Co-Founder of ByHand Consulting, Karen was drawn into the artisan sphere through her interest in economic development and her aspirations to use the "trade not aid" approach – and she has never left! From her work with non-profit organizations, including Aid to Artisans and HAND/EYE to consulting to international development organizations in more than 30 countries, and co-founding a successful import / wholesale company, Karen has seen first-hand how the artisan sector touches on all aspects of sustainable economic development. Today, as co-founder of ByHand consulting, Karen leads project management and new business initiatives. Karen has led ByHand Consulting's role as a founding member of the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, an initiative with the US Department of State and Aspen Institute. She is an active Board member of HAND/EYE.

Identify global market trends by hearing directly from experts in the artisan sector during the pandemic about what are the greatest opportunities available for artisan businesses.

Gain a competitive edge by hearing directly from buyers on their experience in the market during the pandemic, and answer questions about how they work with artisans.

"The Buyer Panel really gave me great insight into how to approach and communicate with buyers/ retailers" - 2021 eMRP participant

Sign up at any time!

This bundle of two self-paced mini courses includes over 3 hours of pre-recorded panel discussions with US Buyers and experts in the global artisan sector.

BONUS: You'll receive access to the 2021 US Handmade Buyer's Report as soon as it is released!

Image Credits: Lauren Barkume, plus images courtesy of Trade+Impact, WFTO, Made Trade, Mbare, Powered by People, and Mercury Marketing.