An interview with entrepreneur Adriana Walsh, Founder and Director of Agora Jewellery...
I was born in Colombia, South America but I have been in the UK for the last thirteen years – 6 of those living in Claygate. I am also a trained jewellery designer. When I had my lovely twins I had to stop working full time as I wanted to be able to look after them. I soon started thinking about having my own business as I wanted to be able to work from home and have the flexibility to look after my family but also to be able to continue my personal and professional development. Difficult? Yes of course – it was a big challenge!
I decided to start my own jewellery business as I had experience in the jewellery industry from my previous working life but I wanted it to be a business with a difference. In my heart it was very important to remain connected to Latin America and especially to Colombia as I wanted my children and my husband to feel part of that heritage but I also wanted it to be a business that gave back – that is why from the very beginning I knew I wanted it to be a Fair Trade business where the Artisans benefited fully.
Historically, Artisans in poor countries have often been exploited, resulting in impoverished standards of living and sometimes in the break up of their communities and way of life. When I started to learn about Fair Trade, I started thinking of how I could implement the concept and principles into my own business and generate work for Artisans in Latin America.
Today Fair Trade is a growing international movement that ensures producers in developing countries get a fair deal. This means a fair price for their goods, a price that covers the cost of production and guarantees a sustainable living. Fair Trade also guarantees long term contracts which provide real security and support to gain the knowledge and skills needed to develop their businesses and increase sales.
Agora Jewellery is fully committed to a policy of Fair Trade. We are directly and practically involved in helping our Latin American partners to fully implement Fair Trade standards throughout the supply chain. We do not try to drive down our Artisans on price. Instead, we pay them fair prices based on current market value for silver and for their labour and we pay in advance for the metal and some production costs to minimise the financial risk to them.
By buying a piece of Agora Jewellery you will not only be acquiring a keepsake but you will also be improving the lives and environment of Artisans in Latin America.