May 2003, I’ve been waiting 7 weeks for the production of a Copper Kitchen Sink I sold online with a picture that was emailed to me by a Copper Crafts Store I visited on a previous trip to Michoacán, a State located in Central Highlands of Mexico. That store had promised a 4 week lead time and after two months and bad communication the owner finally emailed me and informed me the copper sink was ready for pick up.
I was back In Houston, Texas, my hometown working at a call center doing tech support. I dedicated my free time to meet with builders, remodeling contractors,interior designers, and local kitchen & bath showrooms to discuss my find. I had printed the copper kitchen sink on paper and they were thrilled and excited.
Instead of having the supplier ship me the sink I decided to fly down to personally inspect it. Little did I know I was making the most important decision of my life…
The copper sink was a disaster. Looked nothing like the picture that was emailed to me. Wasn’t aligned properly. It was so bad I refused it and got a refund. At this point I was ready to refund my buyer in Florida that had been waiting for over 5 weeks.
I asked around town square for another Copper Store or Copper Sinks. A young man overheard me and offered to take me to his uncle that had a small Copper Crafts shop. On the way there he informed me that the Copper Store I was dealing with was only a re-seller and did not even own a shop.
This was a Sunday and I was surprised and amazed, that outside an underprivileged wooden shack in some places covered by cardboard there was a Man and his Wife making Copper crafts. It was obvious that they also lived there, I could see deteriorated mattresses inside and a small old television. The children, two girls and a boy playing with homemade simple toys. This was not just Sunday, a day where most of us in America Spend time with the family or go shopping, perhaps watch some sports and make a barbecue. It was late Sunday about 4 pm. This was a man and his wife that were giving 110% to making copper crafts they can later go into town and sell to the Stores. Needless to say this was the way they earned money to feed their family…
I showed them a picture and within a minute I had a quote. The quote was surprisingly higher than the first Store where I had rejected the quality of the Copper Sink. I started to bargain and paused, looked around me and immediately decided bargaining was not appropriate. My next question was “when can you complete such Copper Sink Craft?”. His response shocked me so much to this day I get goosebumps when I think about it. “I can finish by tomorrow afternoon”.
I paid him in advance and gave him a tip for dinner. I called over the children and told them “tonight you will have a good dinner”. The rest is history in the making. Thousands of copper sinks later here we are still assisting not only that loving family but artisans like them around the world promote their talents.
We believe in rewarding artisans around the world by purchasing their products and creating a market for them. Some of these artisans are in very remote areas of the globe where it would be merely impossible for their crafts to be promoted on a global scale without the power of the Internet. Thanks to your contribution and our desire to find talented individuals they are able to convert their skills into a healthy cash flow. One of our commitments is paying them fair wages not for the work they do or time it takes but rather for the talent they have. Handmade crafts take a long process and we DO NOT sacrifice quality over price. This ensures the well being of the Artisans family.
The economic positive effect this causes does not stop at the dinner table but also shows in the local community. When we people have extra cash we spend, and when we spend communities grow. Whether its copper sinks and Crafts from Mexico, Wood Sinks and Carvings from the Philippines, Stone & Bamboo Sinks from Vietnam, There is always numerous thankful families receiving the benefits.
Currently exporting crafts from three different countries benefiting over 100 families. We are constantly on the lookout for talented artisans that will forever appreciate your helping hand.