Lina Moreno Velez's New Entry

Lina Moreno Velez's New Entry: The Social Bridge

Mexico City, MexicoTenango De Doria, Mexico
Year Founded:
2015
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We eager to improve Mexican artisan’s communities by identifying their hand-made techniques with entrepreneurial potential. We diagnose community living conditions in order to find solutions for their needs. We combine contemporary products with the artisan’s techniques in order to create diversity.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if craft work was given the value that deserves and we stop consuming products that are made by people who dont have a dignified job?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Around 1,800,000 artisans live in Mexico, from which 66% don’t get an income from their crafts because they live in deprived areas. The artisans have admirable work techniques, but their lack of competitive supplies, tools, and a bigger potential market have decreased the value of their hand-made products. Amarella wants to rescue the Mexican crafts value by bringing design, technical and operational solutions to their communities.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Amarella has created a business model that closed the gap between the community, the artisan suppliers and the final clients. A team of volunteers, parteners and desginers was ready for action. We were able to find good quality supplies and new designs for their techniques in order to create diversity. The first design we wanted to try with the community was a pashmina that had 20cm of Tenango´s embroidery. Each Artisan committed to embroider six pashminas per month and we all agreed on a fair price. We pay each artisan for each embroidery that they do and then we find different distribution channels to sell the product. The artisans receive a monthly package that includes all of the supplies and the instructions for their work.

Awards

None
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

When Amarella met Eva Hernandez Tolentino, an artisan from Hidalgo, we found out she was a risk taker. After three weeks of agreeing to start working with her, 5 artisans joined our team. She is now the head manager from this community. Each artisan committed to embroider six pashminas per month and we all agreed on a fair price. Their commitment and outstanding work has encouraged 21 more artisans to become part of this project. Instead of working with intermediaries, Amarella has found the people who actually create this typical embroidery. We have identified their living conditions in order to find the ways to satisfy their needs. Amarella has partner with different organizations to give the artisans a better quality of life.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Now there are 26 artisans and counting! 26 artisans from Tenango de Doria, Hidalgo that have improved their living conditions and increased their income by 197%. We are planning different workshops according to their needs we have identified in the community. This will improve their quality of life in the social, economical and cultural aspects. Artisans from Tenango de Doria have a health issue: poor eyesight. Most of them don’t see properly. Amarella partnered up with Sala Uno Eye Clinic, to improve the artisan optical health. The treatment includes new lenses at very low price and donation of eyes surgery. Amarella has identified another 2 artisan communities from Mexico. One in Hueyapan, Puebla and the other in San Martin de Tilcajete Oaxaca. We plan to replicate the business model in these communities. As a result the number of artisans who will be benefit will increase.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We are working with 3 Mexican communities. We are operating with one of them. In 2016 we will start to operate with the other two. We plan to expand in different parts of Mexico where artisan techniques are traditionally practiced. This model will be replicate: Identify artisan’s communities with entrepreneurial potential. Acknowledge their hand made techniques. Diagnose of the community living conditions, in order to find solutions to solve their needs. We combine contemporary products with hand made techniques. Find distribution channels to sell the products. Agree on fair pricing.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Amarella is a social Enterprise that obtains revenue in response for a demand of different products, in order to sustain our production processes. We ensure the longevity of the organization by responding to the different demands of the market, and by implementing an income diversification (our sales are not dependent in few clients).

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Everybody loves beautiful clothing at a low price. We love it too. But when you find out that the products you are wearing are made by people whose working conditions are borderline slavery, you start to ask yourself if there isn’t another way. Our business competition plan is not through prices, instead we give customers an added value. Amarella generates social impact by creating unique, and well-made products, crafted by Artisan´s communities that directly benefit from this project.For every purchase of Amarella´s items you are contributing to an improved quality of life for our partners.
Team

Founding Story

Amarella´s idea began when I arrived to Mexico. I was blown away by its arts and crafts. This motivated me to travel and explore the different Mexican regions. I wanted to get a feeling of the true craftsmanship behind this objects. However, it was not an easy task. Everything is dealt through middlemen and the artisan remains practically unknown. I began looking everywhere. in every single corner. I went to talk with government agencies that support artisan development. FINALLY, I arrived to Tenango de Doria, Hidalgo where you find one of the most amazing Mexican hand-made embroideries. I met Eva Hernandes Tolentino the artisan that has made this project come true!

Team

Currently Amarella is working with: -A designer (Part-Time) -A visual communicator (Part-Time) A photographer (Part-Time) Lina Moreno (Part-Time) Diana de La Fuente (Part-Time) Due to the circumstances, we are currently working part-time because Lina is in her last year of college, and Diana is working in an e-commerce enterprise. By December 2016, we both plan to work full time. In addition, we plan to have a team of volunteers ready to help us solving the community’s problems. At the same the team must count with our current visual communicator, a photographer, a designer and an accountant. In order to have an optimal team´s composition we need to take into account all the aspects which make this project unique. Diana is in charge of the financial and commercial operations along with the strategic financial sustainability. Lina leads the social projects in order to bring successful results to our partners. She is also in charge of public relations and strategic communication. The designer creates the combination of hand made techniques with contemporary designs in order to create new products. The photographer and the visual communicator work together to create the experience of the brand.
Background
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:

A friend from Tecnologico de Monterrey University.

Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:

CEO

Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

This is our first entrepreneurial initiative.

Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?

Sala Uno Clinic, which also is partner of "Cinepolis Foundation" in providing eye surgeries for people in vulnerable conditions. The members of Flor de Mayo are our mentors. Flor de Mayo is a social enterprise of Mexico that’s also works with artisan generating social impact. Paloma y Angostura, a Colombian sustainable fashion enterprise that works with demobilized paramilitaries gives us advices. Tecnologico de Monterrey is helping us to create a support network of volunteers and the CDI which is the government agency that supports the artisans development. They have help us to get in touch with the artisan´s communities.