In sourcing products and creating a network of artisans we aim to have a positive and sustainable impact on the communities we work with. We believe in a partnership where all those involved are profiting from - economically as well as socially. Our guiding principles include:
-Fair wages and product prices, determined by the artisans
-Healthy and safe working conditions
-No child or forced labor
-Full transparency in sourcing of products, materials, and identification of artisans/partners
-High-quality, locally-made, and culturally-reflective goods
We source products from different regions in Colombia to curate a collection of beautifully-made and ethically-minded products. We strive to create a sustainable market where our profits are reinvested into the community in the form of increased opportunity for artisans and support of local development programs. In doing so, we hope each product can empower customers and artisans alike to create lasting impact.
We work with artisans in 13 of Colombia’s 32 different zones and establish trusting relationships by visiting their place of work, meeting their teams, and understanding their processes. We prioritize preserving the value of their work, time, and wellbeing while acting as a platform for increased access to economic opportunity.
We function as an online store and set our prices based on the cost of products established by artisan partners and the inclusion of international shipping and exportation. We buy goods from artisan cooperatives, indigenous communities, individual artists, and small businesses. Our inventory is generally held in the United States since that is our primary client base. We pay artisans upfront for inventory, regardless of when a sale is made on our end. Large Cuatro Tetas baskets and brand collaborations are the exceptions to this as they are made to order due to product volume or sold through a drop shipping system. Currently, our Magda Made team is comprised of just three people, Malachi, Shannon, and Lorena. Malachi and Shannon are both from the US and Lorena is Colombian.
Since our days of traveling through Asia, India, and Central America we have always day-dreamed about how to make travel and cultural exploration more than a hobby. Over the years our adventures have brought us immense happiness and significantly influenced who we are.
We wanted to capitalize on our individual strengths to create something purposeful. So, what are we good at? Budget traveling, getting lost, getting found, tchotchke acquisition, living together in tiny spaces. And what do we care about? Our wellbeing, the wellbeing of others, equity and opportunity, lifestyles that support these ideals. How do we turn all of that into something meaningful? We’ve given a lot of thought to what is feasible and realistic, but also has the potential to affect change and make an impact.
We’ve finally landed on a project that we think hits all the marks. Named for the Magdalena River, Colombia’s principal river and one of South America’s biggest, often described as the social, environmental, and economic heart of Colombia. Historically the river’s fertile region has supported many crop-reliant communities and served as the main artery for economic activity. Its strength and resilience are woven into Colombian identity and history. We hope that Magda Made can also bring opportunity and growth to the artisans of Colombia.
We are so excited to bring you inspiring stories and beautiful goods from Colombia. Thanks for being here with us!
Graphic Design: Casa Crea
Photography: Cristina de la Concha