Weaving Stories and Tradition

Guest Blog

By Giancarlo De León Argueta, Marketing Intern

I’m a sophomore English major at Santa Clara University. In my role as a marketing intern for Miller Center, I had the pleasure of interviewing Antonio Nuño, CEO of Someone Somewhere. He visited Santa Clara for the April In-Residence to receive Miller Center’s Impact Excellence Award, where I had the opportunity to talk to him about his company’s sustainability and employment efforts during the pandemic. Antonio is down-to-earth and incredibly passionate about his work — focused on giving local artisans in Mexico the tools and chance they need to retain their traditional crafts while boosting their incomes. I appreciate the company’s brilliant work and am thankful for being able to share their story. I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did.

Launched in 2016 by longtime friends Antonio Nuño, Fátima Álvarez, and Enrique Rodríguez, Someone Somewhere has integrated environmentally conscientious and traditional techniques into beautiful and sensitive cultural products that generate sustainable work for its 400 artisans in Mexico’s poorest states. As Antonio states, “Our mission is to contribute to the welfare of artisans by integrating their traditional work in innovative products that generate consistent and equitable labor opportunities.” And that’s what Someone Somewhere is doing. A certified B Corporation on a mission to improve artisan wellbeing and empower its workforce of 98% women, Someone Somewhere’s creative and sustainable use of traditional techniques has brought rural artisans into the global market and provided labor opportunities for artisans in Puebla, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Hidalgo, and Estado de México. These opportunities provide steady and diversified income and improve local economies — increasing artisans’ monthly income by 300% and dedicating 30% of the product cost to their payment.

Someone Somewhere’s research and design teams work closely with the leaders of artisan communities to supply the artisans with quality materials — creating gorgeous and sustainable products whose utility doesn’t compromise their cultural significance. Artisans also report improved well-being, including increased self-esteem, reduced stress, and greater educational opportunities for their children. The B Corp’s commitment to creating a positive social impact for its workers and consumers also appeals to the conscientious millennial market. Antonio describes, “We are focusing on a particular lifestyle of exploring the world and connecting with the people of the world. This creates a good circle: the more you travel, the more you connect with the problems that exist.” Someone Somewhere’s approach to sustainability also contributes to its appeal. This year, the company joined other B Corps in committing to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. It has also integrated recyclable bags in stores to reduce its carbon footprint.

Someone Somewhere continued its positive impact during the pandemic. The company established an emergency fund for its artisans and expanded its B2B business to provide consistent work while keeping its workers safe from harm. Since 2020, Someone Somewhere has generated over 100,000 hours of work for its artisans and recently landed a contract creating environmentally-friendly amenity kits for Delta Airlines which will benefit more than 1,000 people from Mexican communities.

Antonio first connected with Miller Center in one of our 2015 social enterprise workshops in Mexico and has since participated in two accelerator programs and joined Miller Center’s Social Enterprise Advisory Council. This year, Someone Somewhere was awarded Miller Center’s Impact Excellence Award for its many contributions to alleviate poverty and build climate resilience. When discussing Miller Center, Antonio shared, “Miller Center’s constant support has been amazing. The quality of their mentors is really good. It’s people you’d normally never have access to, but here they give you a lot of their time, connections, and resources to help you build your brand and your company.”