Saturday, April 17, 2010

Keep Austin Weird, and Fair

One of my regrets as a Fair Trader is that I haven't actually worked in a Fair Trade business (yet). While I feel pretty good about my role as Fair Trade consumer, I haven't actually had to practice what I preach as business-owner. I know how I think a business "should" be run, but I have never been confronted with the realities of cash flows, customer service, and the like.

If I were going to leave the not-for-profit world, Handmade Expressions (HExp) in Austin, TX would be a great business to be a part of. Staffed by a young and dedicated team (shout out to Manish, Juan, and Kelly!), HExp has distinguished itself in just a few short years as a company deeply committed to having its business model serve disadvantaged producers while also succeeding as a for-profit venture. HExp is the real deal in a market filling up with products others might embrace as a marketing hook or the latest consumer trend. Along with their commitment to the values of Fair Trade, HExp is staffed with some of the smartest, energetic, and politest people you want to meet.

If this sounds like the kind of place you might like to work, HExp is looking for a Marketing Manager. This is a full time role, based out of Austin TX. The unofficial slogan of that great city is "Keep Austin Weird," and the culture of the company is typical of Austin. The environment is described as relaxed and friendly, but "we expect everyone to be responsible and do their job"

Below is the full announcement and contact information. And when they open a branch in the Washington, DC area I may even apply!



Handmade Expressions is a Fair Trade wholesale organization. We are a for profit company with the mission of promoting economic and social well-being of marginalized communities through responsible trade. Established in 2006, we distribute our line of Fair Trade products to over 700 retail stores across the US. We are headquartered in Austin TX. We currently partner with over 5000 artisans across rural India. To learn more about us, please visit


Handmade Expressions partners with retail organizations across the US, spanning multiple market channels. Marketing Manager’s responsibilities will include:

- Establish & execute company brand strategy

- Manage communication about company’s programs and products through various marketing channels

(website, newsletters, social media, catalog, trade shows, PR, etc.)

- Generate strategy for spreading Fair Trade education and awareness

- Network & collaborate with Fair Trade organizations

- Support sales team through merchandizing programs and relationship management.


- More than 3 years experience in product marketing (preferably wholesale)

- Passion and active participation in programs for social development, giving back to community or Fair Trade

- Experience organizing community events

- Appreciation of other cultures/ travel experience

- Team player

Contact: Manish Gupta


Phone: 512 535 5228 × 102

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