It all began in 2008 during a study trip to Tala, Philippines, to generate ideas on how to better the lives of impoverished communities.
At a dolls workshop in Tala, women who were relatives of lepers were making beautiful dolls for a living. The dolls were lovely but the women lacked regular income due to low demand of the dolls.
We realised the same situation was playing out in other rural and underprivileged communities. Bounded by technological limitations, artisans could only sell their crafts to neighboring villages. More fortunate artisans were discovered by wholesalers, who purchased the items at a low cost and were not able to ensure a constant demand.
How do we showcase these unique items to global consumers, while empowering artisans to build sustainable businesses and expand their income?
We strongly believe that globalization should be inclusive, and we aim to leverage on technology to help rural and underprivileged artisan maximize their potential.
We created matcha5 to bridge the gap between rural and underprivileged artisans and the global economy.
By having a marketplace exclusive to rural and underprivileged artisans, we give them the opportunity to set-up and manage their own e-store. Setting up and managing their own e-store is a challenge in itself, and we work closely and provide training to get them started.
We hope that by breaking down the barriers to entry, these artisans will be able to carve out a sustainable business in the long run, and better the lives of their communities.
At matcha5, consumers will be able to discover beautiful items, and experience life through the artisans’ stories. Engage with the artisans through interactive discussion boards. We believe that beauty and doing good goes hand in hand.
HOW WE DO IT
We classify our artisans into 2 categories – independent and partner artisans.
When you buy something from an independent artisan, we take a 15% cut from the selling price. We plough the 15% back to driving traffic to matcha5.
For partner artisans, we assist them in the entire process of setting up their own e-store, from product photography to pricing and shipping options. We take a percentage cut from a successful sale, and we use the money to help more artisans.
WHAT DOES matcha5 MEAN
matcha is Japanese fine powder green tea and has great health benefits. It is widely used in many food items today such as ice-cream, frappuccinos, cakes, and pancake. matcha symbolise a collision of sustainability, health and happiness which we hope to bring to the artisans. We believe in blessings of God’s grace (digit 5 in Hebrew) in this project.