Where can I purchase your products in person?
We work with a number of independently-owned small businesses and we’d love for you to shop from them! Please see our stockist page for a complete list.
How do I become a wholesale partner?
We love sharing our products with retail partners. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive more information and our catalog. You can also shop with us on Faire here: https://awamaki.faire.com. Our wholesale minimum is $250 and we ship from Seattle.
Can I make a bulk purchase?
Yes, we are happy to offer a bulk discount. Please contact us at email@example.com.
Do you take custom orders?
We are always happy to discuss a custom order, for more details please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I come to Peru and meet your artisan partners and place an order with them directly?
Yes! Our partners are incredibly skilled artisans and businesswomen. Their businesses are independent from ours, and they are always looking to grow their client lists. Our partners have a lot of experience through our program and training, and we love to connect them with new customers. If you speak Spanish and you can travel to Peru, we would be happy to put you in touch. If you discover you need someone with design and production experience in Peru to help out, we can also work with you through a custom partnership.
Will you work with this other group of artisans that I know and want to support? I am an artisan in Peru, can I work with you?
We love to expand our network of talented, hardworking artisans in Peru. Currently we are focused on deepening and strengthening our current partnerships, so we don’t have many openings for new groups. However, our model is to graduate artisan cooperatives from our training programs, so sometimes we have room open up in our program. Additionally, we sometimes have specific skill or product needs, so it is great to get to know new groups that may have different skills. Finally, we are occasionally contacted by people looking to work with artisans and we love to be able to connect them with other artisan groups. All this to say, we would be happy to hear from you!
Shipping & Returns
How long will my order take to arrive?
We have a small team here in the U.S. that does order fulfillment. We aim to ship weekly, but if an item needs to be sent from Peru, your order could take 6-8 weeks. We do our best to indicate on our website if this is the case by putting the item on backorder if it needs to come from Peru. For everything that is in stock, we ship USPS Priority from Seattle. So, if your order is not on backorder, you should have your order in 3-10 days.
Do you ship internationally?
We do! When you enter your international shipping address, your shipping will be added to your total. If you are in Peru or South America, you can contact us for more inexpensive direct shipping at email@example.com.
I ordered something on backorder. When will it arrive?
If you ordered something on backorder, that means we are having it made for you in Peru. It will ship to our warehouse with the next monthly ship date after it is made, and then from our warehouse (in Seattle, Washington), to you. So, it can take 1-2 months to arrive.
What is your return policy?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will ask you to mail the item back to us and we will process your refund or exchange once we receive it. We want everything we put out in the world to find a home where it is loved and used, so we don’t have a time limit on returns or exchanges.
Can I change or cancel my order?
If we haven’t shipped it yet, no problem! Just email us at email@example.com.
How do I care for my products?
For handbags, spot clean. For alpaca accessories, hand wash in cold water and lay flat to dry.
What materials do you use in your products?
We aim to use only natural materials of the highest quality. Our textiles are woven using 100% natural sheep wool, dyed with AZO free colors. For our bags we also use 100% natural cow leather, locally sourced in Peru. Our adult knit products are made using 100% alpaca wool and our baby products are made with 100% baby alpaca wool and 100% cotton. We do not use synthetic fibers or materials.
Who makes your products?
Awamaki works with women’s artisan cooperatives within the region of Cusco and the Sacred Valley in Peru. These artisan groups are independent of Awamaki and we encourage them to have clients besides us. We provide extensive training and support to our partner cooperatives so they can improve their skills, create more marketable products, and learn to lead their businesses. Once a cooperative is ready, we also provide them with training and opportunities to grow their client base, reach new markets, and eventually graduate from our model as independent, women-led businesses.
Each partner cooperative works with us in one technical area, whether weaving, knitting or spinning alpaca fiber into yarn. Some of our partner cooperatives also work in our tourism program.
Are you open to creative and design product collaborations?
Yes. We have had several fruitful design collaborations with experienced designers in which we have co-designed and co-launched a small collection together. This is a great way for us to find new ideas and energy, and a great way for a designer to gain experience working with artisans, and new production relationships. This collaboration is only open to designers with established businesses looking to collaborate on a line we would both sell. If you are looking for artisans to make your designs, we are happy to discuss a custom collaboration, and if you are just starting out and looking for experience working with artisans, we would love to discuss volunteering with you.
What does Awamaki do?
Awamaki is a community-driven social enterprise working in deep collaboration with Quechua artisans from rural villages in Peru. We co-create grassroots programs to support and grow women-led cooperatives through heritage textiles, market access, and sustainable tourism near Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru.
What does Awamaki mean?
We sometimes say that Awamaki means handmade, but really, Awamaki is the blending of two Quechua words. Awa means loom and maki means hand. Awaqmaki means handwoven, and Awaymaki means weaving hands. We wove these words together to create: Awamaki. Rooted in Quechua, we chose this name together with the first 10 weavers with whom we worked.
What makes Awamaki unique?
We are a non-profit fair trade brand making beautiful, contemporary gifts and accessories–but unlike many ethical goods importers, we also have a significant operation in Peru, working with our artisan partners to offer capacity-building workshops, business education and a sustainable tourism program. We design products in close collaboration with our artisan partners for a blend of contemporary style that is deeply rooted in traditional, meaningful Andean motifs.
Does Awamaki pay fairly?
Yes! This is a core part of our mission. We negotiate prices in close collaboration with our artisan partners. To calculate prices, we use two methods. We use time studies that tell us how long each piece takes to weave or knit, and we also collaborate closely with our artisan partners to listen to their feedback on payments, given the difficulty of each piece. The artisans in our partner cooperatives are a full part of the design process, so we work with them to develop prices and adjust designs to ensure we are paying fairly for their work.
If I purchase an Awamaki product, how much of my purchase goes back to the artisans?
All of our artisan partners are paid for their work upon delivery, and Awamaki pays for materials directly, so artisans do not have to finance materials costs themselves. Depending on the price of the materials, approximately 30-50% of the product price goes directly to the artisan. Shipping and sales costs take up a portion of the remainder, and the rest helps Awamaki cover our operational costs and invest back in the community.
How is Awamaki funded?
As a social enterprise non-profit, we generate 70-80% of our revenue from our programs, that is, artisan product sales and our sustainable tourism program. The remainder is a mix of grants and donations. We use income that we earn from our programs to cover our operating expenses, and income from grants and donations to invest in our artisan partners and help them strengthen their businesses.
What is a social enterprise?
Social enterprise is a method of accomplishing social good through business practice. While traditional businesses aim to maximize profits–often despite high social or environmental costs–social enterprises aim to maximize social good, or some balance between profit and social good. A social enterprise can be a for-profit business that also has a mission to create good in the world. One example of this could be a clothing company that uses sustainable materials and gives a portion of its profits to environmental causes. A social enterprise could also be a non-profit that earns part of its revenue through programs that both generate revenue and carry out the organization’s mission. This is what Awamaki does. Although we are a non-profit, most of our revenue comes from our programs, which are also how we accomplish our mission. Our programs give artisan cooperatives the opportunity to build their businesses and also generate revenue that helps cover the costs of operating the organization. While our social enterprise programs fund much of our work, donations are essential to our mission. We use donations to help us start work with new groups, offer capacity-building workshops, provide cooperatives with extra support, and measure and improve our impact.
Are you a non-profit? Are you a 501c3?
We are a non-profit incorporated in the U.S. with 501(c)(3) status. We also have a non-profit incorporated in Peru. Our U.S.-based non-profit, called Awamaki U.S., focuses mostly on fundraising to support the work of the Peruvian non-profit. Our Peruvian non-profit, called Asociacion Civil Awamaki, develops and implements our sustainable tourism and fair trade programs.
Who is behind Awamaki?
We are a small team of Peruvian women based out of our main office in Peru, with our founder and Executive Director residing in the U.S. Beyond our immediate team, we are a group of volunteers, interns, and passionate people working within Peru and across the world.
Are you hiring?
Sometimes! We post all openings on our idealist page. Feel free to reach out if you are excited to work with us and we can tell you what is on the horizon. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I intern with you in your U.S. office?
Our Seattle-area office can offer internships for 5-8 hours per week, based on the rural island of Vashon, Washington. If you happen to live on Vashon, or you are up for the commute, we’d love to chat! We also sometimes need remote volunteers, if so feel free to reach out via email - email@example.com.
How do you use donations?
We use donations to fund the support, training and start-up aspects of our work. For example, donations fund capacity-building workshops to teach product improvement and development, along with training in business development and leadership. Donations also fund the costs of establishing new cooperative relationships, like supporting them in creating a space to meet and run their business. Donations also fund our monitoring and evaluation efforts, so we can continue to improve our impact.
How do you practice transparency in your organization?
We work hard to practice transparency as best as we are able given our resources. Our annual reports and 990s are available on our Impact Reports page. If you have a question that isn’t answered there, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always thrilled to answer questions about our work, no matter how granular.
How do I know you are treating your artisan partners fairly?
We are members of the Fair Trade Federation, which is a membership organization of businesses committed to fair trade. This is not a certification but the application process is a rigorous evaluation of our practices and the treatment of our artisans. This commitment represents a high bar of fair trade, where each and every business decision is made with the well-being of artisans in mind. (Source: The Fair Trade Federation) We have been members of the Fair Trade Federation since 2014.
We have numerous online reviews from tourists who have visited our artisan partners through our tourism program.
We are longtime partners on GlobalGiving.org, and there we hold the designations of Vetted since 2010, Site-Visit Verified, Staff Favorite, Top-Ranked and Highly Effective.
We welcome you to visit and see for yourself if you are still wondering! We love hosting visitors and so do our artisan partners.