Shop, Lend, and Learn – The MyMela Experience
With the launch of this Goodness In Action TM blog, it is my personal goal to scope out companies, consumers, and organizations who have earned the right to be recognized for their “Goodness In Action.”
Fortunately for us, social responsibility is becoming a broader topic and allows us all to think about new ways to transact between businesses, consumers and organizations alike.
A few days ago, I came across a deserving company named MyMela. MyMela is helping to open up a global marketplace for Indian artisans, selling their exclusive handicrafts to worldwide customers through the web. In India there are very few master craftsmen who are able to earn a daily living. This is because of declining local demand for their work; therefore, many are forced to give up their craft in exchange for a life as an unskilled worker in India's urban cities.
MyMela showcases exquisite handcrafted artwork for sale online and partners with such organizations as Asha Handicrafts to promote fair trade practices. Consumers can also facilitate micro loans, known as “micro advances” to featured artisan producer groups. MyMela spokesperson, Leah Herman says, “Purchases and loans made on the website allow artisans to preserve their art and livelihood.” MyMela guarantees all loan payments that are made on the site and collections from the artisans. The company buys all of the items up front, so there is no need for revenue sharing.
This is what we at BiddingForGood like to call a virtuous circle. MyMela connects artisans with lenders and socially responsible consumers at the same time. The artisans keep their livelihood and passion for the arts and while consumers get beautiful pieces of art and a slice of that “good feeling” we are all in search of.
When MyMela begins generating profits, 20% of the profits will be channeled back into initiatives for health, environment, and education in artisan communities.
Two upcoming projects the company will be working on are a low-cost solar lanterns to provide light in villages and low-cost water purifying units to provide villages with clean water.
Yes. I can certainly tip my hat off to MyMela and look forward to what they do next. They certainly have my stamp of “Goodness In Action.” -Kaijsa