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Welcome to Handmade Expressions


These are all natural dyes done with hand block printing. These are good sellers. Paper gift bags are made by our same cotton rag, tree-free paper. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Welcome to Handmade Expressions

Welcome to Handmade Expressions
Who are we?
Welcome to Handmade Expressions
  • Handmade Expressions is a sourcing partner for
    socially and environmentally responsible
    products, based in Austin, Texas. We work with
    underprivileged / disadvantaged artisans around
    the world and strive to improve their economic
    and social standing by creating self-sustainable
    employment following fair trade practices.
  • We partner with grass-root level NGOs/ artisan
    cooperatives and help them create high quality,
    trendy, hand-crafted goods that are tailored for
    international markets. We empower the artisans
    with market and fashion information that allow
    them to create functional products. At the same
    time, we encourage them to use natural fibers and
    recycled material wherever possible. We then
    partner with retailers and socially responsible
    non-profits across North America to provide them
    with these high quality products for conscious

What is Fair Trade?
A market-based approach to alleviating global
poverty and promoting sustainability
  • Fair trade is a market-based approach to
    alleviating global poverty and promoting
    sustainability. It aims to educate and empower
    disadvantaged producers and connect them to a
    market, so they too can participate in global
    trade. It encompasses principles like
  • Anti-slave, anti-child labor
  • The conservation of the environment
  • A respectful relationship between producers
    and buyers
  • A fair wage
  • A healthy working environment
  • Gender equality
  • Sustainable development of communities

Mission Why we do this
  • Mission To improve the economic and social
    standing of underprivileged people in the world
    by reinforcing local economies and creating
    self-sustainable employment through just and
    responsible practices.
  • We believe that we can make a difference in the
    lives of hundreds of artisans in rural India. We
    provide them with help to design products that
    appeal to a Western market. We then find a
    market to sell their products. On top of that,
    we provide them with help (such as health
    services, energy needs, etc) so they can develop
    their communities. Finally, we want the artisans
    to make artistic products, to keep their
    traditional arts alive. This way, their culture
    does not die out.
  • We are a FOR-PROFIT company. We think fair
    trade is NOT charity. It is a practical way to
    make a difference and make a living.

Our company
  • HME is based in Austin, TX. The Austin teams
    consists of
  • Manish Gupta, who started HME in 2005 after
    leaving his position in operations management at
  • Ruchi Agrawal she is trained as a fashion
    designer and designs our new products
  • Juan Portillo handles marketing and designs the
  • Mark Ostroth he is in charge of operations and
  • Jennifer Lucas she is the head of the sales
  • Scott Yankhe he is in charge of shipping
  • We also have a team in India, which is headed by
    Manishs sister, Rashmi Dhariwal. They
    constantly communicate with artisans, make sure
    production goes smoothly, identify new artisan
    groups, and carry out DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
    (please click on the link to learn about HMEs
    development projects). They are a true jewel to
    HME, as they insure quality control before
    products get to us.
  • The newest part of the company is you! As a
    sales rep, you are helping us reach new markets.

Your Role in Handmade Expressions
  • Your role in our organization is to help us
    provide socially and environmentally responsible
    alternatives to as many retailers as possible.
    This will help us provide a broader market for
    our artisans, benefitting entire communities.
  • You will educate retailers so they learn about
    fair trade, why they should carry fair trade
    products, who benefits from fair trade, and how
    our organization can help them carry these
  • You will make it easy for the customers to
    transition into fair trade. You will also sell
    them something that will benefit their store, so
    as to encourage re-orders.
  • You will be the face of Handmade Expressions in
    your region. You will represent a social
    movement with realistic ideals that can benefit
    everyone in society, from retailers to customers.

Why a Customer Should do Fair Trade
  • Sales of eco-friendly and fairly traded products
    are growing in the United States as consumers
    begin to ask where their products are coming
    from, what types of materials they are made out
    of and whether their purchases are making a
    difference in the world. To answer this demand,
    Handmade Expressions works with artisans in India
    to develop high quality gifts, home accents,
    womens accessories and tree-free stationery
    products that appeal to the U.S. marketplace.
  • Carrying these fairly traded substitutes and
    eco-alternatives creates a sense of respect and
    loyalty within the retailers customers. At the
    same time, by buying our products retailers
    really are contributing towards improving the
    lives of people.
  • In 2006, the global market for fair trade was
    2.17 billion, and in 2007 more than 3 billion
    (And this is only the certified products).
  • A 2007 BBMG Consumer Report stated that 87 of
    customers support fair labor and trade practices,
    and 81 identify fair wages and safe working
    environment as a top issue in the world.
  • We work directly with artisans from various
    regions. Each region has its unique art forms,
    different culture and means of communications. We
    spend time understanding and establishing a
    connection with them, then use this partnership
    to connect them with the world. This reduces the
    costs for our customers, makes the communication
    faster and makes lead times shorter.
  • We are a truly global company with teams across
    the world. Working with us will save you on
    traveling and communications expenses, product
    experimentation, logistics and most importantly

Other Things You Should be Aware Of
  • It is also good to know that HME is a part of
    the Fair Trade Federation. This is a trade
    association that strengthens and promotes North
    American organizations fully committed to fair
    trade. Manish sits on their board. Also, Manish
    was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine in October
    2008. Click here to read the article.
  • Fair trade-savvy customers will sometimes
    question your role as a middle-man or
    middle-woman (middlemen are sometimes seen as
    bad in the industry, since some middlemen have
    been known to take advantage of poor producers).
    It is important for you to know that your role is
    actually helping create MORE work for the
    artisans. Your commission comes out of HMEs
    profits and does not affect the pay of the
    artisans. They are paid long before the products
    reach your hands.

Marketing Materials Support Sales
  • We can give customers a catalog with all of our
    products. The catalog has our contact
    information, and how to do business info.
    Orders can also be placed online at
    www.handmaeexpressions.net. The login
    buyfairtrade will allow customers to see
    wholesale prices.
  • Each product has an informational tag that
    explains that the product is fair trade, and a
    little information about where it is made and
    its eco aspects (retailers like this). It does
    not have our contact information (retailers fear
  • We offer posters that tell a artisan stories
    related to the products the customer has ordered.
    They can display this poster next to the
    product, which helps tell the Fair Trade story.
  • Our website has ARTISAN STORIES, information of
    WHAT IS FAIR TRADE?, our press coverage, etc.
    Check it and learn it! Itll help you sell the
    product, because what sells is the story behind
    the product as well. Customers are welcome to use
    images and information from our website to help
    sell the products.

Our Products
  • Tree-free journals the paper is made by
    recycling cotton waste rags from the textile
    industry in Rajasthan, India. The hard covers
    are made of the same paper. Manish started HME
    as a handmade paper company. We still sell
    paper, and journals can be created from any of
    our paper deigns. If anyone is interested in
    creating custom stationary, boxes, journals, or
    packaging, put them in touch with Jen. You will
    be paid commission on any custom order in your
    territory. Journals sell really well!!! People
    love the tree-free aspect. Most journals are
    also refillable, making them even more
    eco-friendly. All journals have a paper band
    around them stating that they are Fair Trade and
  • We also have leather-bound journals The leather
    is cruelty-free, since it comes from animals
    that dies of natural causes. They come from an
    area in India that is strictly vegetarian, and
    the animals serve important household roles.
    Custom leather journals can be embossed with a
    companys logo.
  • We have a large range of bags Some are
    organic, some are made from recycled materials.
    An important thing to say is that they are all
    made functional, with a North American audience
    in mind. They have pockets, zippers, cell phone
    pockets (in some), etc. By going through the
    product descriptions youll learn more details.
  • Accessories very varied selection. It includes
    bells, key chains, bags and boxes.
  • Scarves we have scarves made of cotton, wool
    and silk. Again, going through their description
    on the website will help you understand how
    theyre made.
  • Jewelry all of our jewelry is made of locally
    sourced materials. Some are locally sourced
    metals/stones, and many are made from polished
    tree-resins. Tree-resins are a sustainable
    material, making the jewelry green. We have
    necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
  • Home décor we have wall hangings, cushion
    covers, quilts and more. Again, check our
    website for more information.

Special Products Customization
  • There are some products that everyone likes to
    buy, and they can be cash cows
  • Eco shopper This is a re-usable shopping bag
    made of natural cotton and dyed with natural
    dyes. The minimum order is 12 bags, and they
    come completely assorted. It is a beautiful
    alternative to the plastic or synthetic bags
    others offer. It is safe for groceries since all
    the dyes are natural. The words Fair Trade
    Justice Peace Love are printed on the
    inside. These bags can be customized with a
    stores logo, at no extra charge, if they order
    200 bags. The lead time is 8 weeks. We normally
    use the pinkish/red ink as you see in your
    samples, but other colors can be used upon
    request. We can help design the logo if they
    dont have one on hand. Customers usually keep
    our Fair Trade tagline on one side and put their
    logo on the other. These details can be changed
    to their wishes. Nearly all of our customers
    carry these bags. They came about when Rashmi,
    Manishs sister in India, met a man making hand
    block printed bed sheets. He couldnt make a
    living at it since people in India now have
    access to mass produced goods, but we knew these
    sheets wouldnt sell in the states. So, he said
    he had lots of scraps from the sheets and the
    idea of sewing them into a bag developed. Now,
    the production of the Eco Shoppers employs 50
    families in this small village. Best of all, the
    artisans can make a living using their
    traditional artand theyre eco-friendly!
  • Newspaper Bags These bags are made of recycled
    newspaper. They are lined with recycled
    cardboard inside to make them sturdy. The
    newspaper is in Hindi, but English Indian news
    can be used upon request. We can print the
    customers logo and messaging on both sides of
    the bag. We typically use the red ink as it shows
    up the best on the news print. Minimum order on
    plain bags is 100, 500 to customize. Again, no
    extra charge to customize and the lead time is
    4-5 months. The Fair Trade tagline is usually
    kept on one side with the store logo on the
    other. Again, this can be changed to meet the
    customers wishes.
  • Bound in Leather journals These are the
    best-selling journals. They are not refillable,
    but they have more pages. People love these!

Ruchi can help you with the customization
questions/issues. You can reach her at
Grab your catalog and lets talk BAGS
  • The Color Splash bags are great sellers. They
    are made from textile scraps and come assorted.
    The V bags usually have a red base while the
    square bags vary considerably. A customer is
    welcome to express a color preference. If it is
    possible, we will honor the request, but we never
    know what colors we are getting until they
  • All of the applique bags sell well. The peace
    bags are hot right now. In case you dont know,
    applique means that the entire design (Tree of
    Life for instance) is one piece of fabric that
    the artisan has cut by hand and stitched on.
    This is most impressive with the wall hanging (to
  • The Om and Shiva bags are new and are doing well.
    Om is a word chanted at the beginning and end of
    most yoga classes. Its a complicated thing to
    describe, but the sound of Om is said to
    encompass the entire universe. Om is very popular
    with new age retailers and yoga practitioners.
  • The Sanskrit Bag comes with the 2 smaller bags.
  • The Shanti and Dharma bags are popular with
    younger women. Please note that any bag that
    says assorted means that the fabrics may come in
    a color different than what is shown in the
  • The Cosmic Messenger bags can be ordered by
  • The Sufi and Classic Messenger bags are assorted.
  • WOVEN THREADS not available!!
  • Green Computing bags are ordered by color. These
    are all natural dyes done with hand block
    printing. These are good sellers.
  • Paper gift bags are made by our same cotton rag,
    tree-free paper. Small bags come in a set of 5,
    while the wine and large bags come in sets of 3.
    Wine and large bags can be ordered in a paisley
    or earth (leaf) designs. Colors for all bags are
  • The Wood Log box is made of our paper. The top
    is rolled and cut paper. This is an example of
    how we can make custom boxes from our paper
  • Recyceld gift pouches are made from textile
    scraps. Each one looks different.
  • Very Special Folding Bags and Cosmetic Case are
    made by a school for people with disabilities.
    They are made with recycled plastic and cotton
    scraps. The cosmetic case has recycled cassette
    tape woven in to make it shiny.
  • The Organic Shoppers are new and doing well.
    They can be customized 200 minimum and 3 month
    lead time.

Purses, Cosmetic and Coin Bags
  • The Maya Bead Bags are made of silk with
    intricate embroidery.
  • All of the Fine Embroidery bags are also silk.
    They come assorted, though customers can
    specifically order Om bags. Anywhere you see M
    and S next to a code, it means the bags can be
    ordered with assorted mirror work or the spiral
  • The Mix and Match series sells well. The
    cosmetic case has one large pocket and four small
    zip pouches. The travel kits 2 largest pockets
    are lined in plastic.
  • Coin purses all come assorted.
  • The Stitch Sizzle bag is a great seller. Comes
    slightly assorted, no more than the pictures in
    the catalog. Has a zipper closing and an inside
  • Mirror work sling bag and evening bags come
    assorted. The evening bags are really fine
    quality with embroidery on both sides. Made with

Accessories and Jewelry
  • All dolls and key chains come assorted.
  • The leather card holder is a good seller.
  • LUGGAGE TAG not available!
  • The Thread Art necklaces are great sellers and
    are ordered by color.
  • The multi ring is made of local white, nickel
    free metal that is made just for jewelry and will
    not cause skin allergies. This is the metal that
    is used for all of our jewelry.
  • All of the necklaces sell well, especially the
    Seal Pendant and Half Moon.
  • All of the resin necklaces are made from pine
    tree resins. Very eco-friendly.
  • Flat Pearl and Bold Bead are great sellers, as
    are all the ear rings, especially Om.

Bracelets and Scarves
  • All of the bracelets are good sellers.
  • Night and Day is the best seller
  • Whirlpool, Swirl, and Om are right behind.
  • All bracelets except the Wood Carvings are
  • Scarves are cotton, wool, silk, or a blend.
    Please note that the following are NOT available
  • CWS 206 Shade 5B (code is actually CS 206 B/R)
  • CWS 114
  • MSS 103
  • MSS 106

Home Decor
  • The Hanging Bells are a great seller and come
  • The Copper Bells come in 7 sizes and all come
    with a cotton hanging yarn. Also hot sellers
  • The Tree of Life wall hanging is our signature
    piece. It is important that the store have a
    place to display it properly, but most stores are
    surprised at how many they sell.
  • Cushion covers come unfilled. Any customer that
    wants to order inserts can do so. We buy them
    from Ikea for 4 and sell them for the same.
  • Table runners, place mats and pot holders are
    pretty self explanatory.
  • The quilt are hand block printed with natural
    dyes, 100 filled with natural cotton (we cant
    say organic because it is not certifies, but no
    pesticides are used on the cotton). King size
    only for now. Very light and warm.

  • Bound in Leather!! People love them
  • Life Comes to Leather come in small and large
    size, refillable. Blue and orange designs sell
  • Cutwork mirage refillable. Top one is Daisy,
    left bottom is Bouquet, and front right is Sun
  • Peace journals.GREAT seller.
  • All the rest of the leather journals are
    refillable, except the Elephant and Leaf Imprint
    with tie string.
  • All hard bound journals not refillable.
  • The Toy Garden series is really popular, as is
    everything on page 35.
  • Everything on page 34 is made of our tree-free
  • You are free to use your judgment in making
    exceptions to MOQs (minimum order quantities) for
    new customers who want to try the line, but in
    general we try to keep to them.
  • Also, remember that we offer terms to museums,
    universities, hospitals, and established co-ops.
    All others will pay via credit card upon shipment
    unless otherwise approved by Jen.
  • Thats the line!

Challenges Shipping Inventory
  • Most of our products are always in stock, and we
    aim to ship out within 3 days of the order.
  • However, we do work with artisans that make
    things by hand, so sometimes we might not have a
    product in stock and it will be placed on back
    order. It is important to ask customers if they
    are ok with backorders on their first order.
    That way, we know how to handle the order if a
    product is not immediately available. Jen will
    do her best to keep you updated on any out of
    stock items so you can pass this info onto the
    customer when they are ordering.
  • Target or delayed ship dates are welcome. We
    will be sure to notify you if the target is not
  • We ship UPS for domestic and USPS for
    international . We can ship FedEx if the
    customer wants to use a promotion or their own
    account. The same is true with UPS. If they
    have a UPS account they wish to use, just say so
    on the order.
  • Many stores dont know what Fair Trade is or why
    they should carry it. It is your job to educate
    them and help them.

  • For Operations support, you can contact Mark at
    mark_at_handmadeexpressions.net. He knows when
    orders are shipped, and whats in them. He also
    deals with all billing issues. Marks extension
    is 104.
  • Your main contact is Jennifer. She can help you
    with most of what you need. She can be reached
    at jennifer_at_handmadeexpressions.net and extension
  • If a customer is asking for support materials,
    like posters or pictures of the artisans, you can
    direct them to Juan. Hell do the marketing.
    Write to him at marketing_at_handmadeexpressions.net.

Final Words
  • We are here to support you. If you are unable to
    reach us in the office, you can always call Jen
    on her cell at 512 529-7422 or Manishs cell at
    734 834-7921.
  • We are happy to offer Marketing help we can
    support customers events if they need pictures
    or posters. Tell them to get in touch with Juan
    at marketing_at_handmadeexpressions.net
  • Good luck! Your work is making a difference in
    the world!
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