Tracey Krause of Artisans in the Andes

Tracey Krause of Artisans in the Andes

Tell us about yourself and your shop
The story of my new shop is quite a tale!  My family and I moved to Ecuador from Canada in June 2012.  My husband and I are adventurous people and have lived all over the world, but we had been living in Canada for most of the lives of our children.  It was one of our life goals to introduce our kids to another culture, a different economic reality, and a different set of values.  After much research, we sold all our belongings, quit our jobs and resettled in South America.  

I have two other goals, one is to start my own business and another is to help women in developing countries towards sustainable livelihoods.  With those ideas in mind, I started which launched in January 2013.  Through Artisans in the Andes, I work with local Ecuadorian artisans and offer their handmade jewelry items to a worldwide market.  Much of the work is made from organic nuts and seeds (tagua and acai), gathered from the Amazon Rainforest, cut, dyed and polished into very unique necklaces, bracelets and earrings.  I love the fact that using naturally growing seeds and nuts from the Rainforest helps to prevent using it for mining or farming.   

What made you decide to open an online shop?
My dream is to bring the unique handmade products of Ecuador to a wider audience than is available in the local markets, while providing women here with more opportunities.  Ecuador has maintained a very special traditional handmade culture that will bring delight to those who find my shop.  

What is your current favorite item in your shop?
This pale earthy green tagua necklace is my favorite item. Its handmade by an indigenous woman living in a small town in the Andes.

What is your favorite quote?
“Poverty is the absence of all human rights. The frustrations, hostility and anger generated by abject poverty cannot sustain peace in any society. For building stable peace we must find ways to provide opportunities for people to live decent lives.”
― Muhammad Yunus