We care about the world and our place in it. Our collections are made in small batches by artisans who carry generational knowledge of the beautiful heritage techniques incorporated into each of our products.
Our values guide every decision we make—from how we design to how we manufacture. We are in a state of continual improvement. We invite you on this journey with us as we strive to build a more equitable future for manufacturing, one rooted in transparency and respect.
MINNA grew out of a designer’s art practice. We take a Bauhaus approach to the design process, considering technique and final use from the onset. This approach requires a technical perspective, first we learn how a technique works and use this understanding to begin co-creation. Co-creation and design is not a one-size fits all process.
We have a different method of working with each group and often these processes have been refined and evolve over time. Sometimes this looks like sitting at the loom together with the artisans to understand how the weaving process can be utilized to create a graphic design, or discussing best ways to cut-and-sew a piece, or identifying which natural colors we want to use.
We recognize that the artisans we work with are the generational owners and designers of these techniques and we. We are honored to co-create each of the products that make up our collections with them. We respect the cultural heritage of the communities we work with.
Within the artisan sector it is not uncommon for businesses to take traditional designs and sacred motifs, change some colors or applications, and call the design their own. In reality, the ownership of that design belongs to the craftspeople who have mastered their heritage techniques for generations. This is why co-creation is such an important aspect of our design process. We take our time to ensure that we do not misrepresent or appropriate the culture of the artisans we work with.
Our process is highly collaborative. When possible, we design in-person. The artisans’ expertise guide how things are made - they know the techniques better than we ever could. While our designs are contemporary and unique, they are rooted in the shapes and patterns inherent to each technique. We find that designing together in person is the best way to grow our collaboration and our mutual businesses. Frequent visits also allow us to build relationships and meet new artisan groups through word of mouth. We actually found our first partnerships through an in-person connection!
We seek out partnerships with master craftspeople - knitters, weavers, embroiderers who understand the rich complexity of their craft. We also look for individuals who are specifically interested in innovation. We recognize that the designs and styles we produce aren’t traditional - and asking someone to create in a new style might not be their preference. We believe that creating sustainable employment using heritage techniques, albeit in a contemporary aesthetic, creates a process that allows for technique preservation.
As a business, we strive to keep sustainability at the forefront of all we do. Instead of placing one massive order a year, which is a common trend in the artisan sector, we place frequent smaller orders several times a year. Our artisan partners communicated that they prefer this because large one-off orders often aren’t achievable and create instability within the supply chain. This approach allows for work to be more consistent throughout the year in communities primarily reliant on seasonal employment. We’re aware of these seasonal positions (coffee farming, agave processing, etc) and adjust our ordering to accommodate.
The artisans we collaborate with are established and successful business. They are people working to support their families, hire new weavers, and buy more looms, just like us. They are also brilliant artists, makers and designers themselves. We depend on each other to be successful.
MINNA creates a platform for weavers and artisans to continue their craft. We approach our partnerships with an understanding of the structures that exist among us — capitalism, and white supremacy — and instead of buckling to that weight, we find better ways of doing business.
2022 Impact Report
We are proud to present our 2022 Impact Report. From closing our first investment round tobrining on a Chief of Impact, 2022 was a pivotal year for MINNA and we are pleased to share this snapshot of what we have accomplished, what we are working on and what we are working towards!