Mira Fair Trade was founded in 2008 by Meera Viswanathan. After working as a CPA for over 8 years, Meera sought change and decided to visit rural parts of India with her family on one of their annual trips. During that visit, she met many talented artisans struggling to earn living wages, and thus the idea for her business was born.
Growing up in India, Meera always enjoyed shopping at places where she could buy directly from the producer - a personal interaction that she missed in the big shopping malls of the United States. The artisans she met shared stories of their lives, and their skills fascinated her. Unfortunately, without the education or resources to help them, the artisans had no control over their products or wages and they were often paid only $1 a day for their work. Meera quickly realized that her purchasing power made a big difference in the artisans’ lives.
It was an easy decision for Meera to help the artisans earn fair wages by bringing these beautiful products to mainstream consumers throughout the U.S. She found support and gathered resources from the Fair Trade Federation, an association which sets standards for fair trade businesses and holds them accountable for their work and procedures based off of the Principles of Fair Trade. Meera also became involved with groups that work on community projects, such as building schools, digging wells, and working on irrigation and water projects. Thanks to these efforts, some dying arts and crafts were preserved.
Meera annually tours rural areas in India where these artisans live and work, and meets the community organizers and the non-profit organizations that produce her inventory. Meera works directly at the grass roots levels to design beautiful, ethnic products suitable for the western world.
As the famous quotation goes, “If you educate a woman, you educate the entire family.”
We at Mira Fair Trade hope to empower women and underprivileged artisans by helping them attain long-term sustainability and economic independence through the Fair Trade model rather than via traditional charitable donations. We are excited to offer our customers a wide variety of eclectic and unique home decor products made ethically with many recycled materials!