Akogare Trading Co

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Many of you know that I am a partner with Akogare Trading Co. It may seem self-serving to showcase my own company in these pages. But I'd like to use this platform to talk about the emerging demographics and cultural trends that influenced the choices Jane and I made to launch the store, and the pivots we've made since its launch.

Akogare started as an online boutique showcasing handcrafted goods – a modern day General Trading Store out of an Old West Main Street – into a mini-incubator to support craft-makers become full fledged brands in their own right. We provide a sales platform so that our artists begin to conceive of their work as collections, an aggregate of objects that are greater together than as individual items, and as a realistic means to financial security. We provide marketing support in the vein of trade show organization and promotion, operational and logistical support, and traditional marketing such as the design and launch of independent websites, the creation of e- and print catalogs and mailers, packaging solutions, and more.

We act financially, strategically, and emotionally as partners: a practice-what-you-preach model of empowering women to value their work more highly, to think bigger, and to create a viable financial stream, give life to their creative instincts, and in some cases establish true small businesses.

Almost 30% of businesses in the U.S. are now owned by women: Akogare Trading Co is part of a grassroots effort to give voice to this growing contingent. We look for synergies between our artists and the larger business worlds circling around us; share resources, and collaborate not compete. We help the artists think through production issues, marketing priorities, commercial appeal, and growth opportunities. 

photo Jane Kobayashi | Akogare Trading Co

photo Jane Kobayashi | Akogare Trading Co

Lesley Roberts