Lumily is an ethical brand that focuses on creating social change one fair trade item at a time. We partner with small scale artisans in Guatemala, Mexico, and Thailand to design a bold collection that represents sustainability, relationships and hope. 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 was born is a magical one. Our founder, Giovanna, had just moved to San Diego with her best friend. She got a big, fancy corporate job and thought that she had made it. Only to quickly realize, that this dream job was in fact, not her dream. She was going through the motions, bored, feeling stuck and unhappy. So, she took a trip to visit her brother living in Thailand to get away. While there, she had one of those AHA! moments, where she knew from one second to the next her life had to change. She couldn’t deny the fact that her job was not serving her and my soul’s desire to make an impact in the world. So she when she got back home, she quit her job, sold all of her belongings, took all of her savings, and headed on a mission to do more with her life. In true Eat, Pray, Love style, that journey started in India.
She started to see a trend. She 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. She was fascinated by their devotion to their craft and wanted to learn more about them, about their culture, about their dreams. Over time her mission became clear: she was meant to be a bridge between these female artisans and world markets. To tell their story and share their crafts with others.
During her trips, she would fill boxes and boxes with their crafts, send them to herself, and come home to host “home shows” as she called them. She would sit around with friends and family and share the stories of these incredible women while showing off their treasures. But still she felt like she still needed to do more. She craved to create more of an impact than simply a one time purchase of their products. She wanted to create a relationship with these women and reach a broader market.
Eager to connect with artisans whos she had less of a language barrier with, she headed down south to my home country of Mexico. With a one-way ticket and an empty suitcase, she was ready to connect with more artisans and share their products with those back home. After some time in Mexico, she made some friends who convinced her to head to Guatemala with them. After much resistance, no idea why she didn’t want to go, she went there. Within setting foot in the country, she felt like I had been there my whole life.
She arrived at Lake Atitlan and knew there was something special in this place. Little did she know, it was a mecca of handmade crafts by mainly female artisans. She found myself in this tiny village where women had been beading by hand since the 70s. In this village, the dynamic was something she had never seen before. The women were the main earners of the families and they were praised for their handiwork. That’s when she felt this pull to invest her 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.
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