Furtuna Skin is part of a purpose-driven family of brands that cares deeply about transforming lives and the land by boosting the local Sicilian economy with job creation, contributing to life-changing opportunities for the Sicilian people.
That is why this holiday season, we have partnered with The Little Market to support their mission to empower artisans around the world by extending their products’ distribution and supporting sustainable income opportunities through a $25,000 commitment from the Furtuna Family of Brands.
This Giving Tuesday, every purchase made on furtunaskin.com on December 1st will receive a limited edition candle by The Little Market to continue supporting meaningful income opportunities for artisans and their families, making a difference, and creating a positive, long-lasting impact.
Inspired by figs trees that fill the air every summer in Sicily with their sweet aroma, our collaborative Italian fig candle allows you to enjoy the scent of the Italian fig year-round. Hand-poured in small batches, this clean burning candle is made with a coconut-soy wax blend and a pure cotton wick, and poured into a recyclable glass vessel.
Each candle is crafted by the artisans at Prosperity Candle supporting female
refugees in the United States.
We sat down with The Little Market Co-Founder, Hannah Skvarla, to discuss how she created a brand & non-profit that is about transforming communities at its core.
We love the mission behind The Little Market & feel so aligned as we aim to create similar economic support for families in Sicily through Furtuna Skin. Can you tell us a little about your mission in starting The Little Market?
We are so glad to have another partner in this mission-driven work and are very excited about our product collaboration! Lauren and I started The Little Market to empower women in underserved communities. In 2012, we traveled together to Uganda and Tanzania and met with local women who shared their desires to earn a sustainable income. Many of them were already creating handmade goods but did not have access to enough customers to make a living wage. So, we were inspired to create a virtual market — connecting artisan and producer groups to a larger global audience.
The Little Market launched in 2013, and we’re proud to make fair trade, ethically sourced, artisan-made products easily available to an audience that is committed to shopping consciously. Our mission is three-fold: we are dedicated to the economic self-sufficiency of women through dignified income opportunities, committed to the preservation of cultural traditions through the celebration of their techniques, and passionate about raising awareness about human rights and social justice issues through educational programming.
The Little Market goods are so stunning that a lot of people don’t know that The Little Market is actually a certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Can you explain what that means to everyone?
Thank you! The Little Market operates as both a nonprofit social enterprise and a fair trade shop. Our nonprofit status complements and helps us further the mission we founded the shop on. The cornerstone of our business model is our commitment to paying groups fairly, promptly, and in full for their work, before they even start production on orders. This is because we do not want any artisan to make the difficult choice between providing for their family’s essential needs or purchasing materials to make their products. All sales revenue generated is reinvested into our artisan network to support additional orders and reach more artisans and producers.
However, given the realities of working with groups in underserved areas (intermittent communication when in remote areas, verifying fair trade practices, shipment time frames, and product development), it can often take up to two years for new artisan and producer groups’ products to go live on our site. This is one area in which donations we receive have the biggest impact. Donors make it possible for us to increasingly expand our reach and support newer groups through the process it takes to build capacity and ship internationally. Donations also support our education and awareness-raising initiatives, which we believe are crucial in working toward a more equitable world. We have several ways of measuring our success and impact. I would encourage anyone who is curious to learn more to take a look!
What are some ways you practice gratitude with your family?
Growing up, my parents instilled in me the importance of practicing gratitude as an action. We were taught to recognize our positionality and use our privileges to effect positive change. I try to both demonstrate these values to my children through example and involve them in practice. Our family encourages random acts of kindness not just during the holiday season, but throughout the year. We volunteer with local nonprofits making a difference in the lives of the most under-resourced. For the holidays, we will purchase gifts for a family in need. It’s a really meaningful way to give back and it’s something that my kids can participate in.
Since the holidays are upon us, what are some of your favorite goodies from The Little Market to gift to loved ones?
I love gifting from The Little Market because I can find something for everyone in my life and know that each purchase makes an impact. My go-to gifts include our candles, which are hand-poured in Massachusetts by women who resettled as refugees. And the labels can be personalized, adding a special touch for the recipient. I often pair them with our gift totes based on the occasion. We also make it easy for shoppers to curate a hand-wrapped gift set, so I mix and match pieces kids love when surprising a little one.