Thumbprint Gallery supports artisans from around the world. This support helps to provide sustainable employment, skill sets, and hope to people who if not for this role, would be living in poverty. Each purchase ‘makes a difference’! While we have many different tales to tell, here are a few stories of the hands that make our uniquely beautiful products.....
KAPULA CANDLES & CERAMICS
This family business trains their artisans to make wonderful handcrafted candles and ceramics. The business began to help employ the local women of the community, many of whom are single mothers. Today 90% of their employees are women who are trained to make these beautiful products, which in turn provides them with sustainable employment and the ability to take care of themselves, their family and contribute to their community. Using traditional methods, these handcrafted candles and ceramics are hand poured and hand painted, making each piece a work of art! Kapula is a proud guaranteed member of the World Fair Trade Organization, WFTO.
BIN MINH HANDMADE SCARVES
These silky soft, gorgeous scarves are made in a small collective in Northern Vietnam, just a few miles from the South China Sea. Binh Minh means morning sun in Vietnamese, and from the door of this workshop is a spectacular vantage point from which to welcome the sun each and every morning. It is here the collective of 20 families operates 25 looms and can weave up to 5,000 shawls and scarves a month. Binh Minh uses only local Vietnamese raised silk in all of its hand-spun yarns.
Godfrey started his creative career 16 years ago making animals and cars out of coke cans. Originally from Zimbabwe, he now has a small team that work with him in his workshop located just outside Cape Town. Here he designs and makes a range of character African animals out of recycled metal, tin, wire and beads – each screaming with personality! We also have a selection of his small cars & airplanes, amazing how he can turn old tin cans and bottle tops into creative collectibles!
BeadWORKS aims to empower women and diversify family income in Northern Kenya, reducing reliance on livestock and natural resources. The program is part of Northern Rangelands Trust and partners with established women’s groups in conservancies, training them on bead craftsmanship, product development, and basic marketing and accounting skills. There are over 1,200 women involved in the program.
Since 2012, Mutual Adoration has been producing their beautiful products using reclaimed wood from homes and abandoned buildings in Detroit, Michigan. The transformation process is labor intensive taking far longer than driving down to the lumber yard or home improvement store! Each piece of wood needs to be processed - pull nails, remove old paint, measure, cut, shape, drum sand, paint, sand again, stain, and oil each one. Why does the team at MA do this? Not only because they care about reusing and recycling materials, but because this wood is not available today. It’s from old growth trees. It’s denser, heavier, stronger and has a feel, a look, and a natural iridescence – so enjoy these truly special candle holders that they make exclusively for Thumbprint!
Founders of Bandits, Nicole and Connor Humphreys, traveled the globe to find the perfect blend of sustainably-sourced, 100% Organic Cotton. They searched and sampled countless manufacturers to find an incredible Fair Trade certified partner in Kolkata, India, and searched for the most artistic talents in the world to create these amazing bandana designs. Most importantly, these bandanas also give back. 10% of sales goes to charities chosen by the design artists!
KORK FIBER ART GROUP
Gulnara Kyrdyrmyshova started “Kork, Fiber Art Group” to provide local artists an outlet to sell their work and for over 24 years has been providing artists in Kyrgyzstan with a place to promote their felt works and selection of ‘Zooties’, whimsy animal character felt booties for babies and young children. Many of these artisans are women who provide the primary source of income for their families. The Group has helped to keep the tradition of felting alive during times of severe poverty and economic depression.