We recently caught up with our Sales & Outreach Manager, Lindsay Abrams, to learn more about her role, trip to Peru, and visit with one of the artisan groups we work with, Awamaki.
When did you start working at The Little Market? Can you tell us about your role?
I started working at The Little Market in July 2017. I had just moved out to Los Angeles from New York City to start a masters program at USC Marshall and was lucky enough to find my role posted on The Little Market’s site right before I did. As the Sales & Outreach Manager at The Little Market, I oversee all of our wholesale accounts, our corporate gift and design trade programs, as well as all custom and bulk orders. In addition, I manage our pop-up experiences and other sales-related initiatives that come our way. My role is never boring and always evolving, which is one of the many things I love about working at TLM.
What made you decide to go back to graduate school to study social entrepreneurship? Can you tell us more about your program?
After five years in the fashion industry, I was itching to go back to school to pursue an advanced degree. I knew that I wanted to make a switch from the traditional contemporary clothing brand that I was working for to a more impact-driven company. When I found out about USC’s MSSE (Master in Social Entrepreneurship) Program, it felt like the perfect fit for me, as it is a masters program situated within a business school. This means that the program uses traditional business school techniques, such as the case study method, to teach about social enterprises — businesses both for profit and non-profit that are first and foremost mission-driven.
We would love to hear about your trip to Peru! How did you hear about the trip?
I went to Peru this past August with the501(c)(3) non-profit organization NEST, which focuses on building a new handworker economy by improving the well-being of women around the world and preserving cultural traditions. A friend of mine is involved with NEST in NYC and introduced me to the Founder, Rebecca Van Bergen, for a paper that I wrote for my Social Entrepreneurship class. I stayed in touch with the organization after my call with Rebecca in the summer of 2017 and jumped on the opportunity to travel with them to visit artisan groups in Peru.
How did you meet the artisans working for Awamaki?
Awamaki was one of two artisan groups that we visited on our trip to Peru, as they are one of NEST’s Artisan Guild members. First, we traveled up 13,000 feet in the mountains to meet with an alpaca herder. We learned how he and his wife take care of their alpacas, and we even had the opportunity to shave one of them! After, we met the female artisans of Awamaki in their community. While there was a language barrier, as most of the women we met spoke Quechua, we were able to watch them work, sit down for a home-cooked meal, and learn, through the help of a translator, what they love about working with Awamaki and what the organization has allowed them to learn, build, and accomplish.
What was the best part of your trip?
I loved meeting the women of Awamaki and Threads of Peru, watching them work, and learning about their cultural traditions and techniques. I also enjoyed eating Peruvian food and learning about Peru’s culture and history. Most of all, I was blown away by our visit to Machu Picchu. It is the most stunning place that I have ever been and I feel so lucky to have had the chance to visit, as it is without a doubt a wonder of this world.
Do you have any other trips planned?
I am hoping to travel with NEST again this coming November to visit some of their Artisan Guild Members in India!
What TLM products are you loving right now?
I’m in love with our new brass candles that we recently launched for Valentine’s Day. They are an exciting new update to our classic glass candle and I am a sucker for The Little Market’s champagne scent. I also just bought myself the Moroccan Glass Vase in blush for Valentine’s Day. It is one of my favorite pieces on the site and is hand-painted by artisans in Morocco.
Photos courtesy of @janeehinger