Real Talk with Hannah Skvarla from The Little Market

Hannah Skvarla co-founded The Little Market to empower women and support brighter futures for the artisans around the world. We talked with this #AerieREAL Role Model about her non-profit, the positive impact she’s making on the world and what it means to be #AerieREAL. Read all about it below!

Real Talk with Hannah Skvarla from The Little Market

You are Co-Founder of The Little Market. What inspired you to start a non-profit?

Lauren and I have always felt a responsibility to help others. We love traveling and have had the opportunity to meet incredible women who are surviving and thriving because of the help of nonprofits. When we travel, we love to visit local marketplaces and support local artisans.  We realized that if we could bring these handmade products to a wider audience, then the artisans would be able to support themselves and their families while making their beautiful goods.

In 2013, we founded The Little Market, a nonprofit, fair trade shop with a collection of artisan-made goods from around the world. We ethically source products from 60 artisan groups in 28 countries. By bringing these beautiful artisan-made goods to customers, women can support themselves and their families while preserving cultural techniques that have been passed down for generations. Through The Little Market, we can empower women around the world, without a limit by geography.

We work with artisan groups from marginalized, rural communities to share their beautiful products with a wider audience. We seek out partnerships with artisan groups that follow fair trade practices and empower women. Many of the artisan co-ops and social enterprises provide much-needed resources such as job and skills training, access to education, and family healthcare. Every purchase of fair trade goods creates sustainable jobs and a positive, long-lasting impact. By shopping fair trade, our collective efforts generate meaningful opportunities and help to combat poverty, empower artisans, and create social justice.

Being a nonprofit was a clear decision for us because we started it to help others, not to personally gain. As a nonprofit, all profits are dedicated to expanding operations and reaching more artisan groups.

The Little Market is fair trade. Why was this business decision so important to you?

Every purchase of fair trade goods creates sustainable jobs and a positive, long-lasting impact for artisans and their communities. Fair trade ensures that marginalized producers earn a fair, sustainable wage, work in safe and supportive environments, implement environmentally conscious and sustainable practices, and preserve their cultural identity. Through fair trade and equitable trading partnerships, artisans and other small-scale producers have a platform to sell their goods for a sustainable price. It is very important for us to ensure our products are made while following fair trade principles.

We love hearing concrete examples of the positive impact fair trade has on the artisan groups we work with. Earning a fair income means that artisans do not have to keep their children home from school to work to supplement the family income — this allows the children to go to school, often becoming the first in their family to attend middle or high school. Many artisans can purchase more nutritious and healthier food, which leads to fewer medical problems like worms.

Personally, when thinking about the importance of shopping with purpose, I love the quote by Anna Lappé that says, “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” With each purchase, a vote is casted. When purchasing items that are fair trade and ethically made, you are valuing the well-being and story of the individual behind a product. As conscious shoppers, we can make a positive impact through fair trade, ethically sourced goods and show respect for human rights.

Real Talk with Hannah Skvarla from The Little Market

What makes you an #AerieREAL Role Model?

I believe in the power behind empowering women, using our voices to lift each other up, and speaking up against injustices. I love the message and mission behind #AerieREAL — it is incredibly important for women to support each other. Women are one of the most underserved populations. For instance, with the current pay gap, women earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by men in the United States; this is greater for women of color. Women face a greater risk of experiencing domestic violence. And we are underrepresented in government. Knowing the disparities and inequalities women face around the world, we founded The Little Market to empower women in marginalized communities. When we have opportunities to earn a sustainable income, we can work toward a brighter future for themselves and their families. I am honored to be an #AerieREAL Role Model and to support authentic beauty and women empowerment.

#AerieREAL is about standing together and feeling confident and comfortable in your own skin. How do you personally identify with that message?

Encouraging women to stand together and to feel confident and comfortable is very important to me. Growing up, I remember feeling like I would never look like the women I would see in magazines or on TV. The images and messaging that I was exposed to through media made me feel like women were valued based on their looks. As a mother to a little girl, it is more important to me than ever to tell girls and women that they are beautiful just as they are. Each of us is different and that’s what makes each of us uniquely beautiful.

Who is your role model and why?

I have always been fascinated by Jane Goodall. Jane has always done things that prior to her work people believed were impossible. She worked jobs that no woman had ever worked before. Before her years of research, scientists did not believe that animals had emotions. She discovered the complex social behaviors and personalities of chimpanzees during her 50 years of observing them. For instance, her research uncovered that chimps can not only use tools, but they can make them as well. Observations like these led to rethinking our connections with humans and animals. She has been dedicated to activism from animal rights to environmental causes.

As an animal rights activist, she speaks up for those without a voice. I have always believed that it is our responsibility to use our voice to speak for those who don’t have one. Many women around the world are treated as if their voices do not matter. We have learned that when a woman has her own income, this can change. Several of the inspiring artisans we work with have shared with us that now that they have a way to make money, domestic violence has decreased and men treat them more equally.

Jane Goodall has not only made breakthrough discoveries through her research, but she has also taught us the power of using our voices to make a difference. She found causes she was passionate about at a young age, bravely set out to pursue her research, and reshaped our understanding of the connection between humans and animals. We can all learn the power of following our passions, using our voices, and showing compassion for others from Jane Goodall.

 

What makes you an #AerieREAL Role Model? Join the movement and share your story!

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Real Talk With Iskra: Spark x Iskra Fragrance

Introducing… Spark x Iskra! An extra-special new collaboration with #AerieREAL Role Model, Iskra. Her first fragrance comes in a eau de parfum, and a special self-care kit that also includes a bath bomb and candle. We can’t get enough of this scent for spring! Read on to see what inspired Iskra to create this new scent.Real Talk With Iskra: Spark x Iskra Fragrance

How did this amazing new fragrance come to be?

I’ve been working with Aerie for 4 years. Over the years my role as #AerieREAL Role Model has grown and I’ve had the opportunity to work on new and exciting projects with them, this fragrance is one of those! I have such a strong connection with Aerie and their consumers, I really felt like I could create a fragrance that the Aerie fan base could connect with and love. It’s amazing to be part of Aerie campaigns and be behind the camera. To create something with them from scratch was such a fun and exciting experience!

Spark x Iskra’s notes are fresh watermelon, delicate jasmine and cozy vanilla. What was the inspiration behind choosing these notes?

When I was deciding which scents I wanted, the most important thing to me was to make sure the end result was something that made women and girls feel confident, happy, empowered to be themselves, express their uniqueness, and to have a ton of fun doing it! Somehow, the notes of fresh watermelon, delicate jasmine and cozy vanilla did just that. I am so excited for people to try it.

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Tell us about the bottle & design of the fragrance. What’s special about it?

Like everything I do with Aerie I want the product to be totally unique but also really accessible for my followers. I think the bottle and its design captures the feeling I want people to have when they wear my fragrance. What’s unique is the stickers that come with the bottle. The stickers can be used to customise the bottle so it reflects your personality, so you can have a one-of-a-kind bottle just like you are one of a kind!

The Spark x Iskra collection features a fragrance, scented bath bomb and candle. Can we look forward to seeing more of your signature products in the future?

Creating these products was so much fun. I absolutely loved the process. It is such a cool experience creating something tangible from scratch that people will be able to actually use and I definitely would be interested in expanding on that. That said, right now I am really focusing on the launch of the Spark x Iskra collection and excited to finally share my fragrance with my followers and the Aerie fans!

Where will you wear the Spark x Iskra fragrance? Comment below & tell us!

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3 Ways To Wear The City Sweatshirt

Your fave City Sweatshirt is back and better than ever! Oversized, super soft and super comfy, this is THE must-have top for leggings. See how we styled one icy blue style with 3 different leggings below!

CHILL(Y)

Stay cute in the cold with sparkle leggings and our ultra warm Faux Furry Trapper Hat. Add some sunnies to block the shine from your leggings!

3 Ways To Wear The City Sweatshirt

 

COZY TIME

City Sweatshirt + Sleep Leggings = ultimate sleepy time style. Add some fuzzy socks and you may never leave your bed.

3 Ways To Wear The City Sweatshirt

 

SNOW WAY

Hit the slopes with our new Play Legwarmer Legging and pair it with a warm beanie and scarf for a look that can handle the winter weather.

3 Ways To Wear The City Sweatshirt

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Give Real. Our Gift Guide Is Here!

We shopped for you! From pom-tastic presents to our coziest sweats, find something for every girl on your list with this season’s holiday gift guide. Read on for our must-get, must-give gifts and shop them all here.

Give Real. Our Gift Guide Is Here!

Most Giftable

Sweaters and Skivvies and City Sweatshirts, oh yes! Our Most Giftable faves this year are all kinds of cozy.

Give Real. Our Gift Guide Is Here!

PJ Mix & Match

Sweet dreams are made of these! Make a matching set with NEW Sleep Leggings, or mix flannel tops and bottoms for a set that’s all you.

Give Real. Our Gift Guide Is Here!

Want a shortie sleep set instead? Our new Sleep Skivvies put the ZZZ in cozy!

Give Real. Our Gift Guide Is Here!

Give Cozy

Give the gift of warmth, starting with this season’s softest new cable knit, chenille and boucle sweaters.

Give Real. Our Gift Guide Is Here!

Stocking Stuffers 

CUTENESS OVERLAD! Get your pom on with Pom-Tastic Hats, Snoods and Slippers, then add a mix and match pom to snap on! Give Real. Our Gift Guide Is Here!

Undie Bundles

Wrap up this season’s best sets, from prints & patterns to logo love to soft & cozy new fabrics.

Give Real. Our Gift Guide Is Here!

What are you gifting the girls on your list this holiday? Comment below and tell us!

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#AerieREAL Love From Iskra: Beach Bag Essentials

Hey Aerie girls,

It’s finally feeling like summer is here, so I wanted to share my Beach Bag Essentials with you 🙂

In June I’ll be taking my yearly trip and this time I plan on heading somewhere in Europe – maybe Santorini then onto a beach vacay hopefully in the Caribbean like Turks and Caicos. Eeekk so excited!

So I’m going to make sure I pack very carefully as I tend to overdo everything and end up not wearing half of my clothes. This year I’m thinking of planning day by day, so literally writing out each day I’m away in numbers then deciding the type of outfit I need for the different days. So for days I’m flying I’m going to need my sweatpants!

#AerieREAL Love From Iskra: Beach Bag Essentials

Here’s my overview of what I’m taking away with me this summer:

  • Sunnies!!! OK so I don’t know why but I’m pretty forgetful especially with sunglasses yet they are so important so they will literally be the first I pack and the Aerie flower shades are super fun and I will also want to take a mirror pair as I love that look.
  • Bright happy bikini so I feel happy and confident on the beach! I try on a ton of swim to make sure I get a two piece I feel secure and sexy in so I just enjoy being on the beach.
  • A cute coverup that I can throw on over my swim at the beach, or a scarf when it cools down in the evenings.#AerieREAL Love From Iskra: Beach Bag Essentials
  • I love having a hat on holiday that can finish off an outfit and doubles up to protect my face, hair and neck!
  • A good pair of shorts that can be worn casually, over swim or even dressed up for a cool outfit. I personally love these stretchy grey pair as they are super comfy and easy to wear as well as the on trend lace up detail.
  • I take a ton of easy tees on trips. I’m all about comfort and I usually need to cover up my shoulders because i burn so easily :O
  • Usually I use perfume daily but when I’m on vacay I want something lighter and fresher so I tend to use a body spray which I will spritz throughout the day to keep smelling yummy lol.
  • Finally a new addition to my beach bag is going to be a cute purse / wallet but one that’s big enough to keep my money safe and my bits and bobs like keys / lip balm / sunnies and that way I’m going to be able to find those essentials more easily in my bag and it can double up as a cute clutch bag at night too 🙂

#AerieREAL Love From Iskra: Beach Bag Essentials

I hope you enjoyed finding out what’s going in my beach bag! I hope you all have a wonderful summer and make sure you tag your unretouched swim pics with #AerieReal. I want to see them!

Lots of love,

Iskra xxx

 

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Outfit Completers: Finish Your Look In #AEOSTYLE

The quickest way to elevate your look? Add some accessories! Our favorite way to finish a look is by adding some outfit completers like hats, jewelry, belts or bags. Adding an accessory (or, like, three!) can take a look from good to great in a flash. Stocking up on little details – think a trendy backpack or a go-with-anything pair of sneakers – make it easy to build a complete look.

Start with the basics: a cool pair of jeans and a tee or sweater. Next, think about adding layers, like a denim shirt, jacket or sweatshirt. Then, it’s time to finish your look. Right now, we’re all about athletic details like sneakers and baseball hats or 90s accessories like a bandana and metallic pieces. Check out the looks below for inspiration to build your own complete look & show off your unique #AEOSTYLE!

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SHOP IT

GIRLS
GUYS

Show us how your unique look using #AEOSTYLE on Instagram & Twitter for a chance to be featured in our Style Gallery.

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