Our mission is to sell ethically sourced handmade goods in an effort to connect cultures from all around the globe while also supporting local artisans and traditional craft.
We hope to spread our passion for cultures and traditions so that others might gain a better understanding and appreciation of people near and far. Visit our Artisan Profiles, Traditional Craft Lessons & Travel Spotlights to learn more.
Ethically Sourced Handmade Goods
Our global marketplace provides an alternative to today’s obsession with throw-away fashion, mass produced products, and poor working conditions. We, instead, can take pride in quality, craft, and unique style of each piece.
Support Artisans & Traditional Craft
We build partnerships with artisans, cooperatives, and fair trade organizations worldwide. The artist receives a fair return for their effort, and you in turn obtain a hand-crafted item of beauty and originality that is sure to be cherished. With the purchase of these items, you are supporting a process that brings dignity to a people’s struggle for economic independence.
We are a member of the Fair Trade Federation. We make the deepest commitment to making positive change:socially, economically, and environmentally through 360° of fair trade. We undergo rigorous screening and work with small farmers and artisans in holistic partnerships built on trust. These relationships go beyond ensuring fair wages and safe working conditions - they empower producers to strengthen their communities and grow their businesses sustainable.
Alternatives Global Marketplace is owned and operated by Alisa Woofter. She is an avid traveler who loves to get off the beaten path and speaks several languages. Alisa served in the Peace Corps as a Micro-enterprise Consultant in a rural indigenous village in Bolivia from 2004-2006. She continues to work with the indigenous women weavers in their effort to preserve traditional weaving and gain economic independence. She earned a Masters degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida, where she specializes in development studies and handcrafts in Bolivia. Alisa has a good understanding of the challenges that artisans in developing countries face. She feels that she can most effectively make a difference connecting these artisans to first world markets and sharing her passion for culture and travel to those here in the US.
Alisa acquired Alternatives Global Marketplace from Laurie Wilkins who founded it in 1990. Laurie, a trained mammalogist, felt a need to assist the communities she visited while conducting her research. These communities lacked economic opportunities but maintained magnificent folk art, crafts, designs and fabrics, based on traditional knowledge. Over the years, Laurie built lasting and impactful partnerships with many artisans groups in Latin American and has traveled all over the world sourcing unique folk art and handmade goods from talented artisans.