Purpose-driven lifestyle brand Someone Somewhere is casting its net in the U.S. market.
Originally slated for a March launch, the certified B Corp delayed its plans due to the pandemic, while holding close to the artisan communities it serves.
Cofounded by three best friends — Antonio Nuño, Fatima Alvarez and Enrique Rodriguez — the brand aims to “rebuild communities and diminish poverty” by working hand-in-hand with artisans in Latin American countries, including Indigenous communities in Mexico.
“The minute we realized that this pandemic was going to be big, everyone started to think how to protect the artisans, how to keep all the jobs we have already created and how to use our platform to spread the right information. Everyone worked really hard to adapt to the situation, and thanks to this we were able to keep everyone on board — something that didn’t happen for most other brands,” said Nuño.
The brand partnered with NGOs to distribute a free protective mask for each of its “Easy Mask” sold, which retails for $19 on its web site, and were able to give reliable protection to thousands of marginalized families.
Other staple items include the brand’s bags, woven in a traditional technique by the artisans of Oaxaca, Mexico and retailing for $55 to $135, and pocket Ts, priced at $35.
While brick-and-mortar doors were closed due to the pandemic, Someone Somewhere saw online sales increase by 70 percent.
With a dedicated $1.7 million deployed for the U.S. launch from impact investors like PSM and Unreasonable Capital, as well as traditional venture capital groups, the brand is focused on creative marketing channels and getting the word out about its unique artisan model, in which “each artisan decides how many products they want to make each month” and works in the convenience of their home working no more than five hours a day, according to Nuño.
“We don’t operate like your traditional supply-chain model, we have artisan leaders within each community who divide tasks into supportive subgroups and is in charge of organizing productions, distributing materials, controlling quality and shipping artisan elements to our warehouses,” added Nuño.
Artisans are equipped with protective masks and “all the required cleaning supplies to keep their spaces safe,” and had the benefit of already being accustomed to working from their patios, he said.
“Each purchase generates hours of work on average,” providing the necessary income stream for artisan communities. Some artisans have seen a 300 percent increase in their average income, with the flexibility to enroll their children in nearby universities and schools.
As a certified B Corp, the company espouses certain values, that in the words of Nuño cherish the concept of “solidarity” on top of a commitment to net-zero emissions by 2030.