MBARE is a unique company in Athens, GA with a mission that we greatly admire. They assist villages in Africa by importing their handmade artwork and selling it to wholesale and retail customers all over the world. By exposing these talented artists to a larger international market, MBARE is helping bring jobs to the artists’ villages.
Equipped with a web store for years that was focused on selling to wholesale customers, MBARE was unprepared for the growth of a retail customer base. Hoping to seize this opportunity, they approached us with the goal of designing and building a new, more robust, web store that would allow them to continue selling to their wholesale customers, and open up a new stream of revenue by incorporating a separate retail store.
In addition to these goals, they wanted to take the opportunity to give the store a look that more closely matched the African origins of the art they were selling. It was also very important that they were able to tell the stories behind the artwork they were selling. These pieces of art do not roll off of an assembly line. They are handmade in Africa by artists that MBARE has known personally for years. It is these stories that differentiate every product MBARE sells form products that you can simply pick up from any big name retailer.
The result of these combined efforts is this new website that has two completely separate stores. Wholesale customers can continue to sign up for a wholesale account and purchase items in bulk at wholesale prices, but now anyone can peruse MBARE’s vast catalog of unique sculptures, tapestries, jewelry, furniture, and more, and easily purchase it through the new retail store. In addition, there is a new artist bio section and a blog that is used to tell the stories of the artists, and of the incredible sales trips MBARE makes on a regular basis.
This has led to a growing retail customer base for MBARE, more website traffic and engagement, and, hopefully, more work for the tremendously talented artists MBARE features in their store.