You may know Lauren Conrad from her LA-based reality series The Hills, but the on-screen personality is making moves in distant corners of the world with her global shop, The Little Market, which sells beautiful lifestyle accents, home décor, and fashion accessories. With her partner and friend Hannah Skvarla, Conrad launched The Little Market in hopes of connecting artisans in developing countries creating traditional crafts with customers worldwide. But what draws the duo to the groups they work with? Read below for a personal story from the co-founders about their new cotton towel collection from Ethiopia to find out.
First Look: Lauren Conrad’s New Hand-Woven Towels
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Today, we are excited to take you across the globe to spotlight one of our newest artisan partners, Woven Promises, based in Ethiopia. The talented artisans of Woven Promises produce, spin, weave, and dye by hand, reflecting traditional and contemporary patterns and designs. These products help to create sustainable employment, access to health care, and a savings fund for the artisans.
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We just added their handwoven towels, available in two sizes and a variety of colors, to our online marketplace. The hand towels are a perfect accent to the kitchen or bathroom. You can select our more neutral tan or yellow tones for a subdued, calming effect, or add vibrant pops of color — our favorite combination right now is pink and yellow! The large towels are perfect for use in the home, as a throw on your couch or bed. But their versatility also makes them great to take to the beach, the pool, or a picnic.
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This new line from Ethiopia has a particular significance for us because Hannah’s little brother and sister were adopted in Ethiopia, and Hannah and her family have traveled there quite extensively. It’s an incredibly beautiful country, and the culture is vast with artistic expression and traditional handcraft skills. However, many harmful practices still persist, such as early and forced marriage, and female genital mutilation, which affects 74 percent of women there. In Ethiopia, more girls miss out on education than anywhere else in Africa.
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The Little Market Orange Striped Hand Towel ($30)
It is statistics like these that remind us of why we started The Little Market. With every product on our site, our goal is to create a sustainable source of income to support the artisans and their families. All of our pieces are handmade by artisans who are paid a living wage for their work.
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The Little Market Blue Striped Towel ($60)
In an interview with the Huffington Post, "Women Hold up Half the Sky," Nick Kristof spoke about the power of educating girls and providing employment opportunities for women in working toward social justice: "If one wants to address environmental issues; if one wants to chip away at global poverty; if one wants to reduce the threat of civil conflict and terrorism; then there are no quick fixes to any of these problems. But in general, educating girls around the world, and bringing those educated women into the labor force, tends to work better than just about anything else." The artisans' crafts are exquisite, and there are customers who are seeking out purchases that are not only beautiful, but that also support the artisans in becoming self-sustaining. The Little Market brings them together.
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The Little Market Purple Striped Hand Towel ($30)
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The Little Market Gray Striped Hand Towel ($30)
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The Little Market Turquoise Striped Hand Towel ($30)
We feel so honored to be working with the immensely talented artisans of Woven Promises. We hope you love their impressive work as much as we do!