The artisan sector is the second largest employer of rural communities after agriculture in the Majority World, serving as a default occupation for those with limited employment options.* Residents in rural communities have limited access to capital, especially when most banks prefer to establish themselves in urban cities.** Artisan work provides not only a low barrier to entry into the workforce, but also flexible working hours for homemakers and caregivers as well as labor independence.** Moreover, it prevents the rural migration into cities for work and keeps the family together. 

The pandemic in America has revealed the lack of remote options for the lower class. This same problem exists in the Majority World. What are the remote options for rural communities who do not have technological jobs? Artisan work has been a lifeline for many who do not have the opportunity for education or in countries exhibiting high unemployment rates. There are also drawbacks of informal work as well that we'll discuss in future posts.

At Chells Artisanry, we hope to share the social impact of artisanry and everyday influence consumers can have in choosing to buy with intention. We select manufacturers who ensure ethical labor practices and value the artisans' work. Thank you to our patrons and know that your purchases advance our artisans' livelihoods!

*qtd. in United States Agency for International Development. Global Market Assessment for Handicrafts, pp. 1-55. July 2006.


**Bhat, Jahangir Ahmad, and Pushpender Yadav. Handicraft Sector: The Comforting Sector of Employment Review, Management Studies and Economic Systems (MSES), no. 3 (2), 4 Mar. 2017, pp. 111–117. Autumn 2016.

Photo: Indego Africa

June 16, 2022 — Michelle Cheung