Lumily is an ethical brand, started by Giovanna, that focuses on creating social change one fair trade item at a time. Lumily partners with small scale artisans in Guatemala, Mexico, and Thailand to design a bold collection that represents hope, sustainability, and relationships. We believe in the importance of ethical practices in all phases of our business, from sourcing, to production, through sales.
The story on how Lumily came to be is pretty magical. I had just moved to San Diego with my best friend. I got a big fancy corporate job and I thought that I had made it. Only to quickly realize, that this dream job was in fact, not my dream. I was going through the motions. Bored. Feeling stuck and unhappy. So, I took a trip to visit my brother living in Thailand to get away. While there, I had one of those AHA! moments, where I knew from one second to the next my life had to change. I couldn’t deny the fact that this job was not serving me and my soul’s desire to make an impact in the world. I got back home, quit my job, sold all of my belongings, took all of my savings, and headed on my mission to do more with my life. In true Eat, Pray, Love style, that journey started in India.
I started to see a trend. I met these incredible women artisans in every village who made traditional products from their culture not only as a source of income but as a way of preserving their traditions. I was fascinated by their devotion to their craft and wanted to learn more about them, about their culture, about their dreams. Over time my mission became clear: I was meant to be a bridge between these female artisans and world markets. To tell their story and share their crafts with others.
During my trips, I would fill boxes and boxes with their crafts, send them to myself, and come home to host “home shows” as I called them. I would sit around with friends and family and share the stories of these incredible women while showing off their treasures. But still I felt like I still needed to do more. I craved to create more of an impact than simply a one time purchase of their products. I wanted to create a relationship with these women and reach a broader market.
Eager to connect with artisans who I had less of a language barrier with, I headed down south to my home country of Mexico. With a one-way ticket and an empty suitcase, I was ready to connect with more artisans and share their products with those back home. After some time in Mexico, I made some friends who convinced me to head to Guatemala with them. After much resistance, no idea why I didn’t want to go, I went there. Within setting foot in the country, I felt like I had been there my whole life.
I arrived at Lake Atitlan and knew there was something special in this place. Little did I know, it was a mecca of handmade crafts by mainly female artisans. I found myself in this tiny village where women had been beading by hand since the 70s. In this village, the dynamic was something I had never seen before. The women were the main earners of the families and they were praised for their handiwork. That’s when I felt this pull to invest my time, effort, and funds into building a relationship with this community. They became the first artisan groups I worked with and the inspiration for Lumily.
Today Lumily partners with over 75 female artisans in three countries: Mexico, Guatemala, and Thailand. The company has expanded since its humble beginnings yet our mission remains the same: to create social change through handmade artisan products. We pride ourselves on having followed fair trade guidelines from the very beginning, creating reliable, long term relationships with each artisan and their families, while working with a transparent business model.
The name ‘Lumily’ comes from a deeply held belief that the world represents one family. “Lum” means world in Tzotzil, a dialect of Mayan language and “ily” comes from family. When we support others, regardless of who they are and where they live, we support our global family. Thank you for being part of our family! One world... one family... Lumily.
Aside from creating change through our products, we aim to provide our artisan groups with as much assistance as possible. Lumily provides the funds for 14 children in Guatemala to go to school, we have an emergency fund set aside for all artisans, and we host fundraisers to provide extra support for the artisans and their families.
Read more about our awesome artisans here.
Shop new arrivals here.