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MyMela: Online Marketplace For Indian Artisans; Small Loans

MyMela is a recently-launched web site that serves as an online marketplace to showcase and sell the work of Indian artisans. MyMela works in tandem with Asha Handicrafts – a Mumbai-based not-for-profit making organization working to promote Fair Trade and Fair Trade practices. It’s a concept based loosely on the lines of Aid to Artisans where a-list designers work with artisans to help them scale their business and provide more accessibility to their art. The website has been started by Navroze S. Mehta. While MyMela is the online platform for selling the handmade products, Asha Handicrafts is responsible for identifying the skilled artisans to create the product range. We checked and the prices are in US Dollars, and shipping is available only for the US market. Remember that Exclusively.in was also begun primarily targeting the US market with Indian products.

User Experience: In terms of user experience, the site is easy to navigate through. The products are segregated on the basis of Price, Recipients and Occasions and one can even pick up gift vouchers from the site. There is also a link to the blog for those who are more interested in knowing more about the site.

Loans To Artists Via MyMela

What sets MyMela aside from sites like Shopo in India, or even Exclusively.in is the concept of an interest-free MyMela Loan where a user can opt to support artist group by lending money with loan amounts starting from $25. According to the site, each month the user will receive a repayment MyMela credit, which is one-third of the loan amount along with a 10% bonus. This MyMela credit varies based on the dollar amount of a loan, which is to be fully repaid within 3 months of lending. The user is free to use this credit to shop on the site or invest in another artist group. The site has a Loan List where users can read about an artist group, the amount of loan they have requested, as well as how much of money has been raised so far.

In its bid to provide artisan groups direct access to a sustainable global market, MyMela also claims to identify producers of handmade items through partnership with NGOs and cooperatives adhering to Fair Trade goals.

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