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September 18, 2019 4 min read

Filantropie is rooted in the belief that we can all contribute from where we are to achieve a better world.

After having studied together at the university, both Latinas, and living the realities of two different countries, Ana and Maria Luisa decided to combine their careers and experiences, in favor of a common idea, to create a sustainable business model aimed to improve and generate changes in our environment.

We asked Filantropie’s founders all about Filantropie and the work they are doing to be a part of the change connecting customers with this new culture of e-commerce.

 

How did the idea for Filantropie come about?

María Luisa and Ana, after many years into the corporate life, decided to quit and start their own company. After watching the reality of their countries, the idea of being a social impact company started to come. Trying to be a solution, creating one place when can merge craftsmanship, sustainability and philanthropy, with a unique idea, be part of the change.

What is the Meaning of Filantropie?

 

We like philanthropy and it goes hand in hand with what we do, which is to be able to help generate another well, not only in feeding children but also in supporting work in artisanal communities, in giving work to low-income people, in sowing a change in our customers by buying a product with purpose. Filantropie is a name that can be pronounced and understand it, not only in Spanish but also in English. A name which people have for the very first time and the idea of what is going on with the brand.

What is the significance of the number of Filantropie's products?

Each number means quantity of school meals people is providing throughout the purchase. Our first idea was to be, tangible for the customer. Some brands use to say “a percentage of this purchase would be given to...”, and customer at the end didn’t know how much it purchase help to the cause. In Filantropie’s case is real, tangible and confident. People know how much it’s purchase help!

What are your favorite places in Latin America?

Each place where you find indigenous with ancestral artisan knowledge, we celebrate the culture. Places like Amazonas, Cuzco, Antigua, Cuenca, Punta Cana, La Guajira, Yucatán, Nariño, are some of our favorites. We want to show our roots. Filantropie is Latin America, however, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela take our hearts, for the people, the sky, the beaches, the music, the sun!

What has been the most satisfying moment working with Filantropie?

When we transferred our first payment to feed the children. To think that we had achieved what we had thought about a year ago filled us with much joy and a lot of commitment also to continue working.
 

Could you please tell us more about working with the artisan communities who produce Filantropie’s products?

We work with artisans in Caracas, Amazonas, La Guajira and Orinoco River all these in Venezuela, also artisans in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, as well as ​​Montecristi, Ecuador and Sandona, Colombia. Filantropie also have alliances with other brands that are focused on manufacturing products with recycled material that is another of our icons that we support.

What is the most important thing you want Filantropie customers to understand about the brand?

Filantropie is brand that gives you the opportunity to be part of the change. Being aware of the planet, throughout the sustainable products, of the artisans community through the sells of handmade products, and being conscious of the future and the importance of education, through school meals program.

We want to transmit that every time you buy our products you feel happy that you are contributing a better future to the children, work to the communities and a positive change in the way you buy. Give the customer the opportunity to think that no matter what a person work everyone can always be the seed of change for another. Seeking the purpose of your life and your work is the greatest satisfaction that you can have as a human being.

What advice do you have for others wanting to start a sustainable business?

Be transparent and persevering in your purpose. Always listen to the side that encourages and guides you. Focus on achieving short-term goals and not be afraid to leave the comfort zone. We got in an environment that is not well known in our countries but there are always opportunities and you have to look for them. It is not easy to be a sustainable entrepreneur, you have to compete with the massive production, and worst “the massive price”. Make people understand that the change is not far, it starts with you. And at the end there or not small actions.

How would you describe the Filantropie style?

It is a boho chic style, part bohemian with attitude and part chic. A friendly, comfortable and unique style. Unique because each piece is handmade and that makes it different from the others.  

What is your favorite Filantropie product?

Emilia crossbody bag! It was an idea which takes, since the beginning until the approved it prototype, 6 month to develop it, as we wanted. The community is located 3 hours by boat, from the nearest town. It is a very poor community, dominated by men, where women are in second place. Slack of food, medicine and education is their regular life. And one day, with Emilia Bag production, a group of women were able to be the family sustain. We empowered Emilia, the indigenous woman who gets the prototype approved. And through Emilia, Filantropie empowered a complete women community. Our idea is to fight against community hungry and lack of education. If Filantropie get well, our indigenous community get well too. It is the change we want to be, to make!

 

 

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