Culturas Trading Company
Culturas Trading Company believes in and supports the business practice of fair and ethically traded goods. This includes, but is not limited to:
To learn more about fair trade visit www.fairtradefederation.org or www.globalenvision.org/library/15/834 to read an interesting article that defines and compares the theories of fair trade versus free trade.
Culturas Trading Company was started in 1995 by Theresa Lemman and Kymberlie Landgraf because of their love for folk art and interest in helping to preserve the traditional crafts of Mexico. The business was started with a little more than a shoestring, lots of faith, enormous trust and often a little bit of luck.
We have traveled thousands of miles, had many adventures and have always managed to climb up, over and sometimes under the many learning curves which always appear in the pursuit of handicrafts. Our relationship with our family, friends, many faithful customers and especially our talented artists has encouraged us toward our goal: to build a business that benefits everyone fairly.
Culturas has succeeded because of its long term relationships developed with the artisans in both Mexico and India throughout the years. We have always relied on their talents, skills and knowledge. They in turn have relied on us to develop a consistent market for their products and fair payment for their handicrafts.
We have always preferred to work directly with the artisans for many reasons. Part of the fun of importing handicrafts is being directly involved with the craft and working with the artisans to develop new designs and ideas. We enjoy seeing their workshops, homes and knowing their families as it gives us an opportunity to learn about their culture, the problems involved in the production of our products and the possibility of offering solutions.
In India we work directly with several artisans, as well as purchasing from fair trade co-operatives and suppliers which have received certification for meeting set standards for fair wages and working conditions. Our wood products are made from mango trees, which are harvested under government supervision as a renewable wood resource. These products also meet the guidelines established by the Lacey Act for importation into the USA.
Our twenty three years of importing, along with our travels, has given us the opportunity to experience first-hand our rapidly changing world. Despite the increased complexity of importing, we find that our original philosophy to "always do the right thing" continues to help us develop a business which can offer not only handmade, but fairly traded products to our customers.