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About Dakar Bazaar

“Why Dakar Bazaar?” is a question we get frequently. Well, the obvious answer it that the store takes its name from the legendary capital of Senegal. More to the point, Dakar is the westernmost point in Africa; as such, it was a trade capital between the New and Old Worlds. And that, tragically, included the trade in people which became the Great African Diaspora. Through DAKAR BAZAAR we reimagine this place, metaphorically, as new kind of center of trade– a place for the exchange of art, of ideas, of cultures. Those notions are reflected in the products and artisans we’re privileged to promote. The story of the Diaspora is one of the great sagas in human history. And it is still unfolding through the creativity and craftsmanship displayed from Senegal to Brazil, Ghana to Haiti and Mali to Mississippi. We think that there is no better way to convey that story than through the arts and crafts of the places where it is been playing out. The works of those producers are the prime movers behind this concept. We’re truly passionate about creating a platform for their works. We feel their work has been underrepresented too long in the US and the global marketplaces. It’s our mission, and privilege, to change that! We believe in the principles of and power of Fair Trade. It is an economic game-changer for the small producers and the communities in which they live and support. Fair Trade principles enable improved working conditions, equitable terms of trade and gender equality. Hopefully, it offers a bridge to a better standard of living for people living on the margins. But the notion of Fair Trade is not possible without first providing producers with access to global markets. Africa represents less than 2% of global trade—that’s right, 2%! There are many reasons for this. Yet changing this dynamic starts with access. That is the mission of Dakar Bazaar… and hopefully 1,000 more companies like us in the years to come. Returning to where it began.

Voice of the Artisans