First Look: Lauren Conrad’s New Handmade Basket Collection
In addition to her thriving fashion label, Paper Crown, Laguna Beach and The Hills alum Lauren Conrad is also the co-founder of a growing global shop, The Little Market, which sells beautiful lifestyle accents, home décor, and fashion accessories. With her partner and friend Hannah Skvarla, Conrad launched The Little Market in hopes of connecting artisans who are creating traditional crafts in developing countries with customers worldwide. But what draws the duo to the groups they work with? Read below for a personal story from the co-founders about their new handmade basket collection from Senegal, Ghana, and Tanzania.
A basket can provide the perfect combination of organization and sophisticated style and is a must-have for every home or office. Needless to say, we’re thrilled to unveil our basket collection at The Little Market, which ranges from small-lidded baskets to large hampers—if only so we can shop it ourselves!
Incredibly functional, these beautiful African baskets can store just about anything, from makeup to dog toys and clothes. We especially love combining different shapes and styles. For example, our white baskets come in six different sizes. The Mini Whimsical Basket is the perfect accent on a desk or table, and the Classic Hamper is a very tasteful solution for laundry storage.
Our current collection is sourced from three countries in Africa: Ghana, Senegal, and Tanzania. All are hand-woven by skillful artisans, but the origin of each basket has such a unique and rich history.
The Bolga basket weavers in Ghana in West Africa make the gorgeous Elephant Grass Basket sets, which are perfect for storing magazines or newspapers—or your knitting set! Based in the Bolgatanga region of Ghana, the artisans weave beautiful and durable baskets from thick, tough elephant grass, which holds up to daily use for years on end. Today, Bolgatanga, known as the crafts center of northern Ghana, with its surrounding villages, comprise the largest producers of leather works and straw baskets in the country. The sales of these baskets have allowed many impoverished farmers in the Bolgatanga region to attain a sustainable way of living.
The Iringa basket makers are based in rural Tanzania. Their beautiful baskets are hand-woven from mijuu grass. Available in three sizes, these simple yet durable baskets are useful in every room of the home. Iringa baskets are as well-loved in Tanzania in East Africa as they are abroad. Iringa basket maker artisans are paid fair wages and able to work from the comfort of their own home and community. As a result, they do not have to be concerned with traveling expenses or childcare costs.
A lot of care and craftsmanship goes into making these beautiful baskets. And every purchase helps provide a sustainable source of income for the artisans and their families.