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From staff reports
Several Sioux Falls business owners are backing a new online retail store offering handmade items from Guatemala.
The partners in Alma Guatemalan are Tom Ashworth, who founded and then sold the Great Outdoor Store; Chris Lee, who owns landscaping business Rock Garden Nursery; and Chad Hendricks, who owns real estate in the Canton area. The business offers handmade bags and accessories from Guatemalan artisans.
The idea developed after multiple trips to the Central American country.
“I am so amazed by the amount of craftsmanship and quality product on the street markets of Guatemala, and it makes me think how great it would be to offer those products back home,” Ashworth said.
The partners said they want to offer an ethical and fair trade opportunity with a sustainable income for the artisans.
“Our artisans handcraft the bags using real leather and organic cotton. The cotton is dyed using natural products extracted from plants and fruits,” Lee said.
Before the development of the brand and website, the partners held pop-up shops locally to present the product. They recently launched almaguatemalan.com and several related social media sites.
Several Sioux Falls business owners are backing a new online retail store offering handmade bags from Guatemala.