Local Vendor Spotlight: Matr Boomie
What is your origin story? Who started the business and why?
In 2006, Manish Gupta embarked on a journey to create opportunities for marginalized artisans in India to realize their creative, economic, and leadership potential. Through grassroots efforts with a team in India, he and his wife, Ruchi, found master artisans and created workshops to transform unskilled men and women into skilled artisans. We gathered a team in Austin, Texas to create modern product designs inspired from traditional Indian art forms. Today, the little company launched in our Austin apartment is a leading wholesale and retail company in the ethical, sustainable, fair trade market. In 2018, Matr Boomie was awarded the People & Planet Award from Green America. This award is given to small businesses who show dedication to a green economy and worker empowerment.
What makes your products unique? Why should someone buy them?
Matr Boomie makes products that beautifully pair modern design with handmade art forms. We have a design team in Austin that creates and selects designs that are relevant for the market. The designs are then handcrafted by artisans in rural India using traditional art forms that have been passed down through generations. We prefer to work with marginalized groups like women, minorities, and rural artisans so they can have fair access to trade opportunities and fair wages.
Are your products fair trade?
Our products are all fair trade. Many of our products are made from sustainable and responsibly-sourced resources, and several of our products are made from recycled or upcycled material such as cotton, sari, or metal. As part of our mission to create a world that’s more compassionate, kind and connected, Matr Boomie goes beyond fair wages. We also invest in development projects, healthcare, education, skills training, loan programs, and scholarships for women, minorities, and people with special needs.
Purchases of Matr Boomie’s exclusive products sustain jobs for people throughout India who have been handcrafting artisanal goods for generations. We partner with women’s groups, minorities, people with special needs, urban slums and isolated rural communities to empower artisans through dignified, sustainable employment. Above all, we value:
- Safe work conditions
- The confidence and well-being of our artisan partners
- No child labor
What are your most popular products and why?
- Jewelry – handmade, unique, India-inspired styles that are affordable, lightweight, and colorful
- Bells – handcrafted bells made from recycled tin that are hand-tuned and have a distinct sound that is unlike most bells
- Puzzle Boxes – handcarved wood boxes in fun designs that are a puzzle and a small storage space in one
Do you have a special tagline or slogan?
Made by hand. Made with love. Made for good.
How many staff members do you have?
28 – 14 in Austin; 14 in India
Where are your items sold?
Matr Boomie products are sold in fair trade and boutique stores nationwide as well as in several popular online stores, museums, and zoos.
FaceBook @MatrBoomie — Followers: 3,536
Twitter @MatrBoomie — Followers: 4,037
Instagram @MatrBoomie — Followers: 1,977