James Swan

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Episode 445: Patti Carpenter & Silvia Moreira


Silvia Moreira

Silvia Moreira has 20 years of experience working with the artisan sector in the Central American region, promoting sustainable processes for the improvement and innovation of hand made products and its respective placement in international export markets.

Silvia Moreira served as adviser of the Ministry of Economy and Coordination of the Tejiendo Alimentos Program, an initiative of the Ministry of Economy working in the most needy municipalities in the country, developing collections of decorative products and personal accessories, with high quality standards, generating work sources for artisans, Who with an increase in their income, improve the standard of living for their families and communities.

Silvia Moreira served as consultancy for the United Nations, UNIDO – Nicaragua, developing the evaluation of the artisanal potential in the Nicaraguan Atlantic Coast, and promoting the strategy of support for the development of artisans in this region.

Director, for  USAID Program for Artisan Development in El Salvador. Program executed with the organization Aid to Artisans, promoting the development and commercial growth of the Salvadoran artisan sector.

Executive Coordinator of the Handicrafts Commission of the Guatemalan Exporters Association -AGEXPORT-, developing from that position the management of several support programs with international cooperation:  USAID, Spanish Cooperation, European Union, among others.

Patti Carpenter

Fashion and housewares designer Patti Carpenter was born in Washington, D.C.. She graduated with honors from McKinley Technical Senior High School in 1973. She then continued her education at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, receiving her B.A. degree in fashion design and fashion illustration.

In the fashion industry, Carpenter worked with Scott Barrie, Bill Blass, Oscar De La Renta, Gloria Vanderbilt, Adrienne Vittadini, Cynthia Rowley, Peter Max, The Limited Corporation, Timberland, and Ralph Lauren.

Carpenter became disillusioned with the garment industry after twenty-five years, and turned her interests to home furnishings. She was a principal and creative director of Continuum Home, Inc. and launched Carpenter & Company. As a design, color and trend consultant and merchandiser, Carpenter works with clients such as the Worth Collection, the Exploris Museum, and Agexpront of Guatemala country originals.

Carpenter’s product line, the Phillips Collection, can be found in numerous retailers including Donna Karen, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s, J.C. Penney, and Macy’s.

Through her extensive work with Aid for Artisans, she has worked with the International Executive Service Corps and was awarded the Presidents Volunteer Service Award by President George W. Bush in 2005. Carpenter sits on the executive board of the High School of Fashion Industries and is a guest lecturer for the Fashion Institute of Technology, the Parson School of Design and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Patti Carpenter was recently named Global Trend Ambassador by Atlanta’s AmericaMart.

The Project

This has been an International Design + Development project between the Ministry of Economy of Guatemala, and five local design enterprises. The enterprises are all local Guatemalan designers, with current small to medium-sized businesses and looking to expand to the US for broader distribution.

They are:

1/ Casa Sagrada- working in textiles, carpets, leather and beading

2/ Nan/Maya Loom- working in recycled denim, hand woven textiles, recycled glass, beading

3/ Del Palomar- working in hand woven textiles and passementerie

4/ 502Home- working in ceramic dinnerware and hand woven textile table top

5/ Algodones Maya- working in naturally grown cotton and recycled denim textiles


This project is managed by Ms. Silvia Moreira, an advisor to the Ministry of Economy, and the Government of Guatemala through the Tejiendo Alimentos program and funded by a German organization, “Deutschen Gesellschaft fur Internatiionale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)”, and is working with Patti Carpenter, of carpenter + company, a US-based International Product Design + Development consultant and Global Trend Ambassador, and 15 year veteran of working with indigenous artisans in Guatemala, to offer technical assistance.


Each enterprise is working exclusively with indigenous artisans in 3 Artisan Development Centers to promote competitiveness and to elevate the 95% malnutrition that exists in the children of these artisans. The early stages of this project were referred to as Zero Hunger and Matiox (pronounced MA TEE OSH). The branding on these lifestyle products is “GuaDecor” and will be debuted at the upcoming ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) at the Javits Center from May 21-24th.

Explore Patti’s Website here

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