Grandes Maestros and 3 Shops for Global Artisinal Giving


Grandes Maestros at the Natural History Museum features work from the best craftspeople in the world — and will inspire your holiday shopping.

To find sources for unique handmade gifts from around the globe, read on. It is nice to know that your purchase makes a difference in the lives of the artists.

Grandes Maestros NHM

new show at the Natural History Museum,  Grandes Maestros: Great Masters of Iberoamerican Folk Art, Collection of Fomento Cultural Banamex, features over 1200 work (masks, pottery, silver, woodwork and textiles) from artisans from latin cultures around the globe, and will be on view through September 13, 2015. We took a cruise through the galleries and saw plenty of colorful, traditional goods. Everything is crafted with meticulous precision and the pieces represented are from over 22 countries. Curators from Mexico who created the show have chosen the best of each craft represented giving visitors not only a sense of the variety of global crafts, but a respect for how traditional skills have been kept alive by artisans working today.

Grandes Maestros NHM

Because of the length of time that the show will be in town, there is a nice array of events surrounding the exhibit, so take a look at the events associated by clicking here.

Grandes Maestros NHM

 Here is a link to the highlights of the show, featuring stories about some of the artists represented. We particularly like the ponchos and blankets on display in this photo.

Grandes Maestros NHM

Shopping Globally for the Holidays

Much of what is on display in Grandes Maestros is interesting from the perspective of each culture’s history, especially learning how traditional crafts have survived to the present day.

The craftsmanship in the show will remind you that handmade is the best way to go for holiday gifts, and so here are several websites that offer stylish goods from around the globe. The goal of these sites is dual –  to sell unique items and support the artists (usually women) who create them, with a strong mission to change their lives. The most intriguing businesses are those that help the artisans create items that are stylish and will find a global audience..

Little Market

One of our favorites is The Little Market, created last year by The Hills star Lauren Conrad and her Human Rights Watch member friend, Hannah Skvarla. We love their bracelets, tablecloths, mittens, holiday ornaments, baskets and stylish trunks. Everything they do is clean and beautiful, marvelously curated and best of all –  their mission statement is 100% focused on changing the lives of women who work in traditional art forms.

Our mission is to build sustainable partnerships with artisans around the world, by connecting them with customers through an online marketplace.
We seek to empower women artisans to rise above poverty and support their families.

Support their venture by shopping here… it’s called GIFTING with a PURPOSE!


A more established online spot for global shopping finds is Shop Latitude. They have items from high (think Jade Jagger’s jewelry) to low (market finds from Turkey and Mexico) and update their gorgeous goodies from different countries frequently. They source the coolest finds and feature jet-setters who know how to find the really great stuff in other nations markets. Get on their email list and see items on a regular basis.


Finally, an enterprising woman from my hometown has been traveling to Nicaragua for the past several  years, working with artisans to create items that she knows will sell in her stateside shop. Support her passion here by shopping at her new online shop, OneDuxbury. When you purchase something from OneDuxbury, you will be able to see who made the item and know that you’ve made a difference in her life.