Those of you who travel regularly and have an interest in different cultures around the world will, Im sure, have one or two much-treasured items at home that serve as mementos from those trips. You might also have a story or two to tell in terms of the difficulties you went through in finding the item you wanted or the practicalities of getting it home. Or perhaps theres an item you saw that wasnt quite the quality you were hoping for, or you had concerns for the working conditions for the people behind it, or the logistics of bringing it back. This is where DARA Artisans the brainchild of travellers Dara and Dan Brewster – comes in. Unlike the many artisan crafts youll stumble upon from extensive Google searches, DARA caters specifically for the luxury market with products sourced from all over the world. Theres a strong emphasis upon design and style in the products they feature, and in some cases DARA even commissions new products. Largely owned and run by women, many of the artisans are also women. In particular, one of the Brewsters primary objectives in creating DARA was to improve the lives of women artisans in developing countries. Carmen Myers of Myelo is one such example. She has facilitated economic opportunities for artisans in Kenya, enabling Masaai women to understand the true value of their time, skills and craft. Her company already employs in the region of 80 artisans, skilled in everything from beadwork to brass design. Some of Myelos profits are re-invested into those very same people through a not-for-profit organisation that Carmen also runs. For example, a brass makers workspace has been renovated so that it can be expanded and production increased. Similarly, Mulberries is a silk farming and handicraft cooperative led by Kommaly Chanthavong that has seen the revival of the Lao practice of silk production, helping the social and economic development for as many as 3,000 farmers, weavers and artisans from over 200 village families. They produce an heirloom textile and beautiful scarves that can be purchased through the DARA Artisans website. If your sense of wanderlust is growing, but your schedule does not allow for travel, DARA allows you to explore other cultures from your living room. If you are looking for a gift to give to a friend or family member, DARA offers a range of opportunities that will reflect your values as an ardent traveller and student of other cultures. If you are looking for a place to buy an exquisitely made artisan craft that reflects your personal style and will also help an artisan better provide for her family, DARA is your answer. To start you on your journey, DARA is offering A Luxury Travel Blog readers a 20% discount on all purchases made on or before July 15, 2015, by using the promo code ALTB 20, and, for orders to be shipped to EU or UK countries, DARA will pay shipping for orders over $750.00 (purchasers should email heretohelp@daraartisans for more information). Disclosure: This post is sponsored by DARA Artisans.
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