How These 5 Independent Retailers Champion Clean Beauty and Artisanal Home Goods

How These 5 Independent Retailers Champion Clean Beauty and Artisanal Home Goods

The Folklore Connect partners with retailers of all sizes, including small boutiques and concept stores that prioritize artisanal home goods and clean beauty in their product curation.

From hand-made accessories sourced from African makers to natural skincare made from the finest resources, these retailers are creating space for sustainable brands and diverse designers to offer impactful lifestyle pieces that meet the needs of conscious consumers by implementing key strategies that help them stand out in a crowded retail landscape.

Create a strong brand identity: These stores have been able to carve out a niche for themselves as champions of sustainable design and artisanal craftsmanship by creating a strong brand identity, which goes a long way in helping to stand apart from competitors while resonating with target customers. This can include factors such as a unique store design, considered product selection, and a clear brand voice and messaging. 

Emphasize quality and sustainability: As consumers increasingly shop according to their values—such as women-owned or eco-friendly brands—having a carefully curated product assortment that caters to those needs taps into a ready market of conscious shoppers. With growing consumer interest in ethical products, these retailers also differentiate themselves by emphasizing the quality and sustainability of their products, via the materials the items are made from, the communities of artisans they work with and their production processes.

Read on to learn about five concept stores in The Folklore Connect’s retailer network, who specialize in artisanal goods and clean beauty.


Bon Femmes
Chicago, US

Deco Beauty at Bon Femmes

The desire to spotlight underrepresented female artists and creatives led Omotola Akinbiyi to open Bon Femmes in 2019. The concept store started as an online store before becoming a brick-and-mortar boutique in the heart of Chicago.

Specializing in unique, handmade home goods, fashion accessories, and beauty products made exclusively by women, Bon Femmes sources its products from independent artisans and designers from around the world and include items such as hand-poured candles, art prints, hand-woven textiles, and organic skincare.

A couple of Akinbiyi’s goals are to run a sustainable business and give back to her community. She does this by using packaging that is 95% recyclable and donating a percentage of sales to women-led charities dedicated to helping their communities.

Reading, UK


A lifestyle e-commerce hub operating in the United Kingdom, Hamalie offers a curated selection of artisanal and handmade home goods, including ceramics, textiles, and skincare products sourced from African brands and independent makers.

Founded by Theresa Olloh, who moved to the UK from Nigeria in 2012, Hamalie was established as way to share a “piece of home” with an international audience. With a focus on African craftsmanship and slow-made goods, Hamalie’s shelves are stocked with unique, limited-edition pieces that are hard to find elsewhere. From hand-painted pots by Kenyan brand Endo Squared to natural skincare products by Arami Essentials and Suki Suki Naturals, the store seeks to offer diverse pieces that can be easily incorporated into daily life.

Hamalie works with more than 20 brands who in turn employ and train local artisans or skilled creatives to produce unique items using locally available materials, while promoting sustainable practices such as eco-friendly packaging and socially responsible production methods.

SustainAble Home Goods
Chattahoochee Hills, US

SustainAble Home Goods

According to LaToya Tucciarone, marginalized groups all over the world have been creating magnificent works of art for centuries, and the retail industry is the perfect conduit to bring their stories and talent to a wide audience. After growing up in a house filled with African-made artifacts and traveling around the world, Tucciarone opened SustainAble Home Goods in November 2017 to fill other homes with beautiful pieces of other cultures.

The store works with artisan partners who use ethical and eco-friendly methods to produce the highest quality, earth-friendly goods including handmade ceramics, natural fiber textiles, and recycled glassware. The store’s products are carefully curated to help customers create a more sustainable and stylish home environment.

Baltimore, US



Located in the Hamilton-Lauraville neighborhood of Baltimore, Tortuga by Julie Bent is a boutique that specializes in well-crafted and independently designed goods that are made with artisan craftsmanship and mindful manufacturing. With an emphasis on celebrating artists and innovators, while building an organic community, Tortuga stocks its physical store and online shop with products that value slow living, sustainability, and creativity. The store’s unique collection includes scented candles and incense, kitchen and tabletop accessories, and botanical wellness products. 


Portland, US



Named after the word for “living shop” in Holland, Woonwinkel is a Portland-based store that carries home goods, furniture, and gifts created by independent designers from all over the world. A former designer at Nike, founder Kristin Van Buskirk’s love of color is a huge factor in her store’s carefully chosen assortment. Van Buskirk believes in owning fewer, better things, with a strong preference for items that are designed to last a long time or are recycleable to reduce environmental impact. 


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