The WE'VE Story
The concept of WE'VE was borne when Lulan Artisans sponsored a textile design competition and revealed a pent-up demand. Designers from around the world, interested in collaborating with artisans, submitted more than 1600 designs in just two weeks! It was clear -- a forum for broader participation was desired.
WE'VE is that community—an opportunity for artisans and designers to come together and offer their expertise; you create the possibility for them to aggregate enough orders to go to production. Artisans are guaranteed enough sales to justify their investment in time and materials, and buyers get the satisfaction of seeing how the product is made, learning the artisans' story and understanding the impact their purchase will have on the artisans' communities. Watch our video.
Gift a story
Invite your loved ones into the story of making where they meet the artisans and participate in the creation process. Not only will someone receive a hand-made object, but will also experience a connection with artisans and designers through a step-by-step story process. A WE'VE purchase helps sustain artisans' craftsmanship and jobs, as well as their families, communities, and children's education.
WE'VE's philosophy is simple. In one word it boils down to "collaboration," but collaboration that incorporates sustainability, technology, storytelling and design. WE'VE is a community for connecting diverse, highly-skilled people together, where beautiful relationships and objects emerge.
WE'VE views sustainability from several lenses: ecological, economic, social, personal, communal, and cultural. These perspectives ensure that our decisions in one area have positive ripples elsewhere - from the materials our artisans use, to the impact we have in their communities. We create value by honoring values.
Technology weaves together the work we do: we share video stories between artisans and buyers, exchange sketches between designers and artisans, collect suggestions from buyers, and expand artisans' and buyers' reach through our e-commence engine.
Inviting you to share in the creator's process is our way of building a transparent and vibrant market. We highlight the making process and hands- on workmanship, and use a "bottom up" approach that invigorates often-unseen processes and elevates respect for artisans across the globe. At WE'VE, we develop new designs with our artisan and designer partners, showing that "high-design" and "hand-made" are not mutually exclusive.
WE'VE is committed to using quality materials that are low-impact and locally sourced. WE'VE Partners recycle everything possible, such as reusing dye baths, reclaiming clay, and sourcing discarded materials. WE'VE's collection of products exemplifies how using responsible materials actually broadens the world of choice rather than limiting it.
On every product page, you will see specific information about the materials and processes that are used in each product. You'll notice certain materials or colors are missing (such as gemstones that are often questionably mined, or severe bright colors from synthetic dyes)– but replaced by exciting new forms of recycled materials, such as composites made from plastic bags, as well as beautiful, rich colors that occur in our natural world.
WE'VE builds a transparent supply chain that puts the social impact of the artisans' work in plain sight, as artisans share their own story and process with buyers. Without questions of who, how, and where our products are made, buyers can feel confident and even joyful in their purchasing power. You will see on each product page the particular impacts that make a difference for our artisan partners. WE'VE's transparency will transform the way that buyers, artisans, and designers perceive and interact with each other, changing our relationship to the material world.
WE'VE's business model supports economic independence and sustainability for artisan communities through partnerships. We open new markets to artisan communities, and together, we then go further, discerning the specific needs of each individual cooperative. Not only are WE'VE artisans and designers paid fairly for their skill and talent, their work is valued and respected. Design, business acumen and job creation are our focus. The goal is to create viable livelihoods, so the artisans, their families and communities have a thriving network of support. In some areas of the world, our partnerships help prevent human trafficking.
WE'VE embodies the vision of Eve Blossom, a trained architect who discovered a passion for artisan goods in Southeast Asia while restoring villas in Vietnam. She met master artisans, learned their stories and was moved by their remarkable spirit. In 2004, Eve founded Lulan to empower artisans through a viable economic engine - building stable livelihoods. By partnering with over 650 artisans in Cambodia, India, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, Eve recognized the opportunity to connect designers with artisans across the world, and thus WE'VE was formed.
Eve lectures and publishes frequently on design and social change. Eve is intent on changing business methodologies to expand economic options for creators around the globe. Her book, Material Change, outlines her vision for how design can create lasting social impact.