About Us

Artisan Made is a "social business" which adheres to "Fair Trade"  principles first established in November 1999 to support  craft and weaving cooperatives in the developing world. Every product we sell is handcrafted by artisans in a "Sweatshop Free" environment. We strive to preserve traditional methods of hand weaving while providing a steady & fair income to the artisans. You can read more about our work and our mission and principles below.  

Green Business Practices: As you can see throughout our website, our artisans incorporate recycled materials into many of our products and we only support groups that engage in environmentally sustainable practices in creating their products. We reuse or recycle nearly 100% of all packaging materials that come in to our US facility and have developed energy conservation and energy efficiency plans to reduce our carbon footprint. We have been members of Green America since 2003. 

Contact Information & Physical Location: Artisan Made is a program of Illuminate, LLC. Our offices in the United States are located at 615 Highpoint Ave., Virginia Beach, VA 23451. You can contact us by phone at 757-428-7218 or via email at artisanmadecustomercare@gmail.com . 

We Pledge:  
1. We don't provide customer information to a third parties.
2. Our customers will be treated ethically and we will strive to exceed their expectations in providing customer service.

3. We will provide a safe and secure shopping experience.

4. Orders will ship within one business day unless an item is out of stock and or noted otherwise on the website and in that case, we will notify you immediately to give you an expected ship date.

Green America Member

Memberships: We are Proud Members of Green America, & The Fair Trade Alliance.

Our Products in the Media: Our Patchwork Quilts were featured in "Lucky Magazine". They said, "Their quilts are simply beautiful." Our Quilts & Pillow Covers were also featured in "Bust," "Yoga Journal," "Domino," "People's Style Watch!" and "Latina" magazines. Our Quilts & Ceramics were used to create Guatemalan themed sets on episodes of  "Law & Order, Criminal Intent" and "Saving Grace". And our Guatemalan Pillow Covers were featured in "Time Out New York's Holiday Gift Guide.

Artisan Made Mission Statement 2023:

  • Producers will be paid a fair price, at least 50% more than they would receive within their local market.
  • We will only deal with trade partners that engage in ethical business practices and pay artisans fairly.
  • We will build long-term trade relationships, provide start-up and capacity-building loans, and provide advance payments to allow our artisans to purchase materials.
  • We will only support groups that maintain healthy, safe, working conditions, and engage in environmentally sustainable practices. 
  • We will provide training and design support to assist our artisans in reaching the N. American Market
  • We will honor and encourage our artisans' cultural and artistic heritage
  • We will assist artisans in building independent, sustainable businesses. 

About Don Lam, the Founder of Fair Trade Quilts & Crafts [Now Artisan Made] [Reprinted with Permission from the Fair Trade Federation Newsletter 2014]:

Guatemalan artisans

Don Lam, founder and president of Fair Trade Quilts & Crafts [Now Artisan Made] has seen the developing world from many angles. The first time he experienced extreme poverty was while working with a non-governmental organization in Latin America to provide food assistance to those suffering from malnutrition and disease. From there, Don went on to take the position of Vice President of World SHARE in the late nineties. During his time at World SHARE, Don worked to start their first Fair Trade program that dealt with coffee cooperatives on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Additionally, World SHARE created micro-loan programs to assist entrepreneurs in starting small businesses. Through this process, Don realized that marketing and design assistance would be crucial to the success of these entrepreneurs in order to meet the need for knowledge of the North American market and a means by which to sell their products... 

After leaving World SHARE in 1998, Don partnered with Share de Guatemala to create Fair Trade Quilts and Crafts [Now Artisan Made]—a business dedicated to helping artisans find a North American market for their goods.  With a mission to provide a consistent source of income while preserving their traditional handicrafts, Fair Trade Quilts and Crafts focused on helping artisans adapt indigenous designs to North American tastes and to improve the overall quality of products. With such assistance, artisans doubled their income and Fair Trade Quilts and Crafts garnered praise from satisfied customers all across the United States. Such success allowed the artisans' market to continue to expand and they brought additional artisans into their weaving cooperatives. Eventually, an entire village in the central highlands of Guatemala was employed by this cooperative.....

As Don reflects on the last fourteen years of his business, he calls it “the most rewarding work [he] has ever done;” but instead of focusing on his contributions, he recognizes the customers for making responsible buying decisions: “I credit our fabulous customers for making choices in their purchases that truly assist artisans to raise themselves and their families from poverty.”

Our high-quality patchwork quilts, embroidered bedspreads, and other crafts are handmade by artisans in the developing world.  Every item you purchase assists them in building a better life for their families. Fair Trade is the most productive form of aid for such artisans.