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Run by Rural


Photo by Desyree Valdiviezo

Run by Rural is a social enterprise and lifestyle brand committed to leveraging markets to benefit the global handmade industry.  Providing the opportunity for skilled artisans to receive intensive training in product development and market access. Run by Rural provides a platform for artisans to share knowledge, and empower them to shape their future.


Photo by Desyree Valdiviezo

Working in Peru with Virgen del Pilar Artisan Association, Run by Rural help sustain the art of hand weaving toquilla straw, a practice dating back to the 18th century in Catacaos. Designing unique hand woven hats and accessories, Run by Rural produce a sophisticated range of Fedora, Sombrero and Panama hats, and accessories. All items are woven from toquilla or palma straw, and colored using natural dyes. It takes at least seven days to weave a quality, hand made Sombrero or Fedora, while ensuring weavers are not exhausted by labor-intensive craftsmanship. Products are made available in bursts of 100 items at a time, with digital codes providing monthly access to online stock.


Photo by Desyree Valdiviezo

With problem solving at the root of their business, Run by Rural are committed to providing innovative industry solutions to the inherent problems within the artisan sector, with their social mission driving their business model. The development of the Innovation Fellowship gives aspiring changemakers a unique opportunity to interact directly with partners to problem solve issues, while influencing the creative direction of the brand.


Photo by Desyree Valdiviezo

Building partnerships with sector leaders across disciplines to promote design and developmental exchange, Run by Rural work with premier regional and international academic institutions and local governments to tackle key artisan issues. Through MAPPED (Market Access Program for Product and Economic Development) Run by Rural promote rural livelihood and lifestyle development, striving to alleviate the poor working conditions, so common in artisan communities. Minimizing competition between employees, they also promote community, control quality, and ensure a work-life balance.


Photo by Desyree Valdiviezo

Since their founding in 2012, Run by Rural has piloted programs to improve artisan training, fund development, and launch fellowship opportunities to help design and market better products. Selling direct to buyers through their online store, Run by Rural also partner with multi-brand retailers, and collaborate with private label. To sustain their ongoing development, they need support. Support to fund master artisan Juana Solano Chavez to travel to New York to teach the art of weaving toquilla straw. To create a booth at the NY NOW Artisan Resource, to promote and sell nationwide. Extend operations to artisan communities in East Africa, and simultaneously expand the innovation fellowship program.


Photo by Desyree Valdiviezo

Website: www.runbyrural.com

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