Ara Collective collaborates with artisans to curate handcrafted pieces, blending traditional craftsmanship with modern style. We travel to uncommon places in search of vibrant designs and time-tested techniques that reflect the communities from which they originate. Each collection is made in limited quantities to preserve its authentic detail, offering beautiful and meaningful products for home and traveler.

Ara (are-ah) is a brand born out of a love for travel, finding exceptional talent in distant places and discovering creative processes that are the heart of a culture. When we travel, something deep within us opens up and is alive in wonder. When we return home, we want to keep a piece of the culture we’ve experienced and the people we’ve encountered. Ara is a collection of pieces from those places; each is handpicked as a reflection of the land, the rich heritage of the culture and the makers that have been mastering their craft for generations. It’s a collective of artisans who, in a sea of industrial production, create timeless pieces that tell their stories. Your purchase provides above fair wages for the artisans, education scholarships for their children and health care in their communities.

We believe every person—despite the social, economic or geographic situation they were born into—deserves the freedom to discover, to dream and to thrive.

Sarah Contrucci Smith finds, collects and curates pieces made by artisans she meets along her travels. Inspired by the warmth and wildness of her childhood in Indonesia, she’s drawn to the eloquence of traditional designs and complexity of artisanal techniques. She believes the work of these makers can and should sustain a livelihood and provide economic opportunity. Sarah earned her Master’s Degree in International Development from Eastern University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Azusa Pacific University.

about

Values

Freedom

We believe every person deserves the opportunity to thrive. The vicious cycle of poverty strips away freedom and dignity, leaving marginalized communities silenced. By providing access to the global marketplace through this business, our partners are able to generate income, which leads to their ability to meet their families' need for healthcare, education, safe homes and to gain a respected place in society.

Relationships

By building relationships with the artisans, we discover commonalities between individuals, uncover rare talent and establish long-term relationships in their communities. Therefore, we approach our work with each co-operative in a spirit of respect, collaboration and mutual learning.

Culture

Culture is the life of a place, the legacy of the people, the heart of the region. Each product represents traditional designs and artisanal techniques, ensuring these practices generate an income that can sustain a livelihood. We seek to invest in the sustainability of communities, ensuring the next generation will embrace their artistic heritage and find economic opportunity through it in a modern world.

Entrepreneurship

We work with locally led cooperatives and entrepreneurs seeking to meet their community’s needs through their traditional craftsmanship and new avenues of creative expression. We believe that collaborating with people who are taking initiative to develop their communities is a sustainable, dignified and empowering way to support their rise out of poverty. By partnering with creative entrepreneurs, we stand in the global marketplace together.

Quality

We are a socially responsible company that believes in making things we love and doing it in a way that values the person behind the product. Each piece is handcrafted using high quality, locally sourced materials. Through your purchases, we are able to pay above-fair trade wages and ensure good working conditions.

The Journey

We continue to learn about cross-cultural partnership and how we can make a positive economic and social impact in a way that creates change, freedom and hope. We seek to actively be a part of the journey of change and restoration in marginalized and disadvantaged communities. We strive to remain open as life-long learners, travelers and entrepreneurs.

popupwindow