Umba is a celebration of handmade:
helping you to discover and empower handmade artists through our monthly subscription boxes and our curated gift boxes.
In 2007, I found myself sitting on floor cushions on an exotic island in Southern Thailand with a group of Thai women who had recently made the decision to leave prostitution for good. Still needing to support their families with regular income, these women were working with a non-profit organization that taught them how to create intricate jewelry, provided a salary, and gave them a safe place to sleep. I couldn’t get over what a beautiful and transformational mission this was, yet, I was surprised with the difficulty they experienced marketing and selling their creations. A spark in me was lit. I knew that I wanted to create an outlet that empowered artists and allowed them to effectively showcase their products.
In late 2011, I launched the first generation of Umba, Umba Box—a curated monthly subscription box of handmade items. In 2013, we added our curated Marketplace where handmade products can be purchased outside of a monthly subscription. While the business has evolved into more than a subscription box, one thing has remained constant: the mission of Umba is to unite through creative discoveries that delight and inspire.
Since my life-changing experience in Thailand, I’ve discovered it is not only artists in developing countries that struggle to market their products, but also artists right here in America. In the course of four years, Umba has partnered with hundreds of amazingly talented artists who spent years refining their craft, sometimes spending hours making a single product, purely out of a love of what they do. Many artists we meet are often (rightfully) frustrated that their products aren’t getting the attention they deserve as they are facing fierce price competition. Markets have become over-saturated with artists. The Umba community is the voice for these artists, designers, producers, and illustrators, connecting them with a powerful marketing force who understands and appreciates the time-honored skills they practice.
We are proud to bring you a mix of both international and American made products to serve to carry out our mission. I think you’ll find a number of items in both our subscription box and marketplace that will bring joy and beauty to your life.