2014

Social Enterprise Soko launches ethical accessories collection Social Enterprise Soko launches their inaugural collection of ethical jewelry, supporting and connecting African artisans to global consumers through their proprietary technology

NEW YORK, Oct. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Soko, Africa's first mobile marketplace, is proud to announce the release of its first curated accessories collection. The collection features necklaces, bracelets and earrings designed and handcrafted by skilled artisans, made available to customers in the US, Europe, and Canada at www.shopsoko.com through Soko's proprietary technology platform.

Connecting and Empowering through mobile technology
Soko's mobile technology empowers artisans and consumers alike, in support of its mission to create an online marketplace where international consumers can buy goods directly from artisans around the world.

The mobile application sustainably supports and enriches the work of artisans - and small scale, environmentally friendly production - while providing consumers access to exclusive jewelry designs never before available on the international market.

"At Soko we believe that the global marketplace should be accessible to all artisans in the digital age," said Gwendolyn Floyd, co-founder of Soko. "Artisans everywhere deserve equitable access to the means to support their craft and build their businesses on the global stage, while consumers consistently demand access to world goods - whether their goal is to support developing economies and traditional craftsmanship or enjoy broader access to fashionable and unique design."

How does Soko work in practice?
The Soko mobile application is an open source, free app available to any artisan in developing markets with mobile coverage and mobile banking systems, launching initially in Kenya. Artisans upload product details and images of their handcrafted jewelry to create personal online storefronts, through mobile devices, to reach an international consumer base. Online shoppers can browse offerings and make direct purchase at www.shopsoko.com. Soko logistics tools manage payment and delivery to ensure a safe shopping experience and guaranteed delivery.

Soko also develops curated collections, which highlight some of the most stunning and popular works coming out of the open marketplace. These artisans have been identified and vetted for their ability to grow their businesses and produce products ethically and at scale. Soko's first Collection, now available online, is the Kenya Collection, showcasing exceptional jewelry designs coming out of Soko's home market of Kenya.


Supporting sustainable growth and development
In addition to fostering a responsible relationship between artisans and online shoppers, Soko works to provide artisans with the tools and information required to build a sustainable, profitable small business - from access to market research and product forecasting to small-business planning guidance.

"Offering artisans access to mobile technology and an international stage for their work is an important first step," says Floyd. "But we want to truly empower them by providing, through simple mobile technology, the practical industry knowledge required to flourish as artisans and grow as business people to offer a consistent, appealing product. With our tools any artisan can participate in the global marketplace, becoming a driver of social and economic development in their community." 

Soko's first curated collection includes necklaces, bracelets and earrings featuring intricate beadwork and traditional metal treatments. All items and more information on Soko's artisans, values and mission are available on their recently unveiled site, www.shopsoko.com.

Media Contact: Diana Biggs, Soko, 3478404690, diana@shopsoko.com

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SOURCE Soko



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