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Inside Results & Impact

Featured Products

    Results & Impact / Case Studies

    Peru: A Revolution in Design-Driven Export

    Background:
    From 1994 to 2002, Aid to Artisans provided marketing, product development and technical production assistance through a partnership with the Peruvian Exporter’s Association (ADEX), in a project funded by USAID. The project objective was to reduce poverty for artisans and displaced refugees in rural areas through increased export sales of Peruvian hand crafts. The project focused on working with exporters. By working with exporters rather than directly with artisans, ATA realized it could reach a larger number of artisans and have a greater impact. Although traditional design had been popular in the late 1980s and early 90s, ATA needed to lead the export market in where global fashions had shifted to a new, design-driven approach that was the focus to revitalizing the craft sector.

    What We Did:
    Design:
    One of the critical elements of the artisans and exporters success were the stunningly fresh designs created by ATA international design consultants. These designers worked with the producers to create new pottery designs, re-interpreting the Chulucanas tradition in a way that was strongly appealing to U.S. buyers. In addition to new designs, technical assistance was imperative to meet new, growing demand. Producers were trained to utilize new pigments and colors and were introduced to wheel throwing techniques, which in some cases made production ten times faster.

    When new designs and technical improvements were implemented, the results were impressive. There were at least $1 million of new sales annually and a visible economic vibrancy in Chulucanas. In the words of exporter Allpa’s director, Maria Carmen de le Fuente, “In Chulucanas, the work of [ATA design consultants] Mimi and Tom generated a revolution! And as the companies started to sell, it created a wonderful multiplier effect. This was the greatest achievement of ATA, along with [bringing in prominent New York designer] Jonathan Adler.”

    Business Training:
    Working with business savvy exporters, our training activities were more informal. Ongoing mentoring throughout the product development and marketing process helped solidify relationships between exporters and artisans and exporters and their market connections. New business ideas and models were introduced, such as exporters investing in product development to increase their sales and stay viable in the marketplace.

    Marketing:
    The New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) and shows in Germany were the main venues to connect with buyers. Not all exporters could afford the travel, therefore, ATA drew on its network of buyers and recruited approximately a dozen of them to attend the Peruvian Gift Show. This way they were still able to meet with international buyers.

    Results & Benefits
    • Craft exports in 1994 were $16 million and declining. This trend was reversed and in 2003 exports reached $30 million.
    • 15,000 jobs were created and by 2001, this number had resulted in more than $18 million in sales
    • Cumulative sales of $23 million with the $1.2 million project budget provides a return on investment of over $19 in sales for every $1 spent.
    • The average monthly income of artisans in the ATA project is approximately 50% more than artisans who did not participate.

    Beneficiary Quote

    “ATA made us change our attitude about design. We continue to design new products even today. Today, either you are in design or you aren’t in the market. Clients always ask, ‘What’s new?’ and if you don’t have something, they say ‘ciao!’ What we sell now is thanks to ATA.” Manuel Eguiguren, American Trading (exporter)