Some of the Berber women employed by the company
Folks & Tales
The global home decor market is competitive but flourishing, with a 4.9% annual growth and an estimated value of $792.6 billion by 2025.
One home goods company, Folks & Tales, aims to capitalize on this industry while bringing business to remote villages in Morocco.
“Millennials, value authenticity, and creativity, they also want to know where their products come from, who made them and in what type of environment,” says 29-year-old founder Dounia Bounahmidi. “They are continually looking to connect with the makers behind distinctive products, and are growing interested not only in the story of the production but the story of the maker.”
The company works with 170 artisans in three Morocco regions, and Bounahmidi hopes to raise funds in order to invest in stock and respond to demand.
Bounahmidi was born and raised in Morocco, a land she describes as famous for its rich and diverse ancestral know-how when it comes to ancient crafts.
“Growing up in this country made me realize how communities of artisans are left behind and remain the weak link of complex supply chains,” she continues. “How the involvement of brokers and middlemen is worsening the conditions of these workers and preventing them from making a decent living.”
Folks & Tales
Bounahmidi founded her company two years ago to forge relationships with small artisan cooperatives, and help them tell their stories.
She prides herself on her company exploring remote and difficult to access areas in order to search for these communities who may just be the last generation of Berber weavers.
Berbers are native to North Africa, with the majority living in Algeria and Morocco.
“This craft is endangered by mass-market brands who prefer to manufacture Moroccan inspired designs in countries like India,” says Bounahmidi.
The artisans determine the price they sell their wares to Folks & Tales, and the company aims to forge long-term partnerships. It cites its competitors as The Citizenry, The Little Market and Anthropologie.
Bounahmidi launched the company in 2018, when she was 27, and says it has been a challenge navigating the entrepreneurial scene alone. “I had to work on myself to build the courage and confidence to travel around the country to find makers.
“On a different note, it was also hard at the beginning to find my voice in a very competitive market and with no connections in the industry,” she continues. “I had to stay focused on my brand and my own path to eventually find the people who value my company’s mission and offers.”
Bounahmidi targets women weavers in small villages, particularly those in the Middle Atlas Mountains who suffer from lack of economic opportunities.
Not only does Bounahmidi say her company contributes to the preservation and reinvention of Moroccan craftsmanship but she says they help some female individuals gain financial independence.
Her ultimate plan is to financially empower as many artisans as possible throughout Morocco.
“Our five year plan includes broadening our product offering by collaborating with more artisan cooperatives mastering different weaving skills throughout Morocco,” the entrepreneur adds, “growing sales on both channels and opening a physical location.”