What does Nu Market do?
Nu Market elevates women artisans around the world by expanding their market access. We do this by creating beautiful handbags that incorporate handmade textiles, and selling textiles to the trade.
We reinvest 20% of all of our profits back into our artisan partners to provide training and new opportunities otherwise not afforded to them.
What does 'Nu' mean?
'Nü' means “woman” in Mandarin. We are committed to empowering women artisans, and wanted our name to reflect that.
Why did you start Nu Market?
While traveling through remote regions of southwest China, our co-founder, Caroline, discovered beautiful handicraft traditions, preserved by geographic remoteness and refined by generations of women artisans. But in a region faced with illiteracy and limited job opportunities beyond agriculture, she learned that women artisans today often lack a marketplace for their handicrafts beyond their own villages.
We began Nu Market because we saw true potential in connecting women from two worlds: Entrepreneurial, talented, inspiring women artisans in rural China with stylish, sophisticated, socially-conscious individuals in the United States.
How many artisans do you work with?
We currently work with over 750 artisans.
Prior to Nu Market, what would happen with the handmade handicrafts?
The handicrafts would be sold to intrepid travelers who visited the artisans in their villages or attended the closest town during market days. Sales were generally limited geographically, and buyers weren't long-term partners. Additionally, handicrafts are used by friends and family in local celebrations and everyday life.
Where does the 20% of reinvested profits go?
We work with local non-profits to fund literacy education programs and business training workshops in the communities where we work. Our goal is to create additional opportunities for artisans through skills-based training.
How are the textiles made?
The unique Indigo lining in our handbags is made using the batik process (learn more here) and handweaving on wooden looms.
How do you source your leather?
Nu Market imports our leather from one of the finest leather tanneries in Italy. It has been produced under strict environmental standards from an ISO 9001 certified tannery, which has been verified by Der Blaue Engel for their strict compliance to environmental and human safety manufacturing procedures. The final milled grain leather gives every bag a soft, luxurious hand feel, using environmentally-friendly processes, free from sludge and hazardous chemicals.