Supporting Artisans Worldwide: The Alchemista Story.

Alchemista is a social business that works closely with artisans in developing countries, to sell their sustainable homeware products, and handmade accessories.

Launched in December 2021, Alchemista is on a mission to create income opportunities for artisans in developing countries, by connecting their artisan merchandise and brands to the UK, through sustainable, ethical trading.

Alchemista’s Founder, Antonia Hiesgen, spent her twenties globetrotting. One thing that always stood out to her, was the beauty and uniqueness of homeware, accessories, and jewellery that was handmade by artisans around the world.

Whilst writing her final thesis on the positive impact that social businesses can have on developing countries, Antonia decided to merge her passion for travel, and her interest in design, whilst contributing towards improving people’s livelihoods in poorer countries.

Whether it was a beaded earring from Tanzania, an alpaca blanket from Ecuador, or a seagrass basket from Rwanda, with every souvenir brought back to the UK, her idea of a business that sells ethically-sourced products made by artisans in developing countries, started to take shape.

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“The empowerment of women-led cooperatives and female artisans is particularly close to my heart. We currently work with female artisans and women-led organisations in East Africa, India, and Guatemala. We believe that there are more sustainable alternatives to mass-produced identical products, via designs that celebrate traditional production techniques, and cultural heritage from around the world,” said Antonia.

Besides managing her new venture, Antonia is also a certified Transformational Travel Designer, a travel product manager, and a travel blogger, with over seven years’ experience in the travel industry. 

Alchemista is already partnering with three non-profits through the donation app Pledger. The startup donates a fixed amount of their profits to the Rainforest Foundation, The One Fund, and Therapy Dogs UK, with each customer deciding the charity.

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