Alberto is a Mexican artisan who carries on his family tradition of handwoven Zapotec rugs and accessories. He would like to invest in wool and also be able to offer work to his artisan friends and neighbors.
Alberto has been selling through NOVICA since 2004. This is his story:
"I am the fourth generation in a family dedicated to Zapotec weavings. I remember as a child watching my father working on the loom while my mother and grandmother carded and dyed the wool. We shear the fleece, spin it and dye it with tints from the cochineal insect, pomegranate peel, bark from the huajal tree that thrives here, as well as oak and pecan bark. Stones, dried flowers, almost all the rocks and flowers here yield natural colors. My wife and I work together in our home. We help each other, and in this way we can finish our rugs sooner. I especially like diamond motifs, as they represent a kind of maguey coat of arms seen at Monte Albán. They exemplify my Zapotec heritage."
"First of all, I want to thank all of you who help fund these microcredits, which benefit people like my family and me. You are making it possible for us to continue the work we love. Thank you!"
Novica is an e-commerce website that allows artisans around the world to sell unique, high-quality goods directly to consumers. It also offers small loans to help artisans in the developing world start and grow their businesses. It’s possible to buy goods created by the artisans you help fund on the Novica website.
Repayments on Novica loans are tied to artisan revenue. This means that if an artisan has a good month, they will pay back more -- or less during slower months. To accommodate this, all repayments on this loan are due at the end of the loan term. Any repayments received before this deadline will be considered pre-payments, but will still be distributed to lenders as usual.
Because Novica is not a microfinance institution, Kiva’s risk rating system is not applicable. Kiva has conducted onsite due diligence, and Kiva’s Investment Committee approved the organization as a partner. Novica offers artisans loans at 0% interest.