We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Patricia Chourio. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Patricia below.
Hi Patricia, thanks for joining us today. How did you find your key vendor or vendors? Maybe you can share the backstory and share some context and the relevant details to help us understand why you chose them, why they chose you, etc.
One of the most important aspects of this business is how we build and maintain relationships with our partners. I was inspired by women artisans in Vietnam I met while living there and they are the reason why I decided to launch The World’s Corner. We purchase goods directly from them in small collections for a fair price, then send an additional premium when their entire collection has sold. This process allows us to build meaningful business relationships with the artisans. As we started to develop new partnerships with other artisans, one of the things I always wanted to emphasize with them was that we were not interested in doing a one-time transaction, we were building a partnership. Meeting the artisans in person, learning about their cultures and the impact of their work within their communities is essential to us. This was especially challenging during the pandemic but in a way it’s what allows us to stay transparent and what helps us advance slow and ethical fashion principles forward.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers.
I’m a Venezuelan-American digital storyteller and communications strategist with a passion for social impact. I have worked for a variety of nonprofit organizations, international development agencies and for-profit corporations in the past 10 years, both here in the US and abroad.
I launched The World’s Corner in 2017 while living and working in Hanoi, Vietnam. I was inspired by women artisans I met during my travels in throughout the region, I was fascinated by their traditional techniques and strong connection to the environment, particularly how these techniques focused on the preservation of the environment and our natural resources. It was during this time when I started to understand more about the negative impact of the fast fashion industry on the environment and our society and this became a huge motivation to launch this project.
Last year, I co-founded The Ethical Bridge, an initiative developed with two other Latina social entrepreneurs to help connect students and researchers to artisans and help promote sustainable production. In my spare time I enjoy photography, traveling and helping other small business owners develop communications strategies and engaging content to promote their businesses.
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
I think one of the many lessons I’ve learned through my immigration experience is that we have to be open to change. At a very young age, I learned to be flexible and understand that we don’t have much control over our lives. I believe in the magic of starting over as it allows me to reinvent myself and opens the door for growth, creative strategies and new opportunities. These past few years we’ve all been forced to pivot in one way or another, not only in our careers but also as individuals on a very deep and personal level. During the pandemic I took the time to reflect on what was truly important to me and what motivated me as a professional. That’s why after living in Atlanta for three years following my return from SE Asia, I made the decision to pursue a new job opportunity in a completely different field and city. I moved to Arlington, VA in the middle of the pandemic facing lots of uncertainty and in search of a new adventure. I have found a great community and have grown so much as an entrepreneur and in my professional development. Pivoting can be scary but I believe it helps us become better entrepreneurs.
What’s been the best source of new clients for you?
Pop-up markets and events, mainly because it gives customers an opportunity to see and touch the products and ask questions about them. It also helps us tell the stories of the artisans we partner with and share more about the techniques and materials used to make the products.
- Website: www.theworldscorner.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/shoptheworldscorner
- Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/patriciachourio
All photos were taken or owned by me- Patricia Chourio