Madison-based subscription box highlights international artisans

MOSAIC Box features luxe accessories and items

To Chioma Amegashie, a piece of jewelry or a scarf is far more than a simple adornment. It is a story.

A product was once just an inkling of an idea that hardworking artisans crafted into a reality, she explains. It was passed through the hands of people of a culture that seems a world away from the one in which it lands. It may have traveled from Kenya, Nepal or Rwanda to have arrived at your doorstep. By the time it gets to your home, it has already had a whole life.

Retail expert and former buyer for Marshall Field’s and Pier 1 Imports, Amegashie is fascinated by the stories behind products, so she decided to found a company that highlights them.

Thus the Madison-based MOSAIC Box was born. Amegashie’s subscription service sends accessories, candles and gifts to members specifically tailored to their personalities and tastes.

Madison-based subscription box highlights international artisans

“Each box is hand-curated by me,” Amegashie says. “I’m meticulous about craftsmanship. The goal is to travel vicariously through the box.”

Amegashie attends trade shows all over the world to seek out the most unique, high quality products with the best stories. She is familiar with the work of artisans from Spain to Tunisia. Over her two decades of experience, she says she has learned how to capture the essence of a city or village in its products.

“I have a good sense of how to bring the best of the destinations to the subscribers,” Amegashie says.

But craftsmanship is not the only thing she values. She makes sure the workers she buys from are being treated and paid fairly, seeks out fair-trade and sustainable products and tries to purchase from mostly female artisans. While the products range from hand-poured soy candles to handcrafted metal bracelets, there are some crowd favorites that rise above the rest. “My customers know me for jewelry and accessories: hand-beaded jewelry out of Guatemala, hand-woven coasters from Rwanda and scarves from Thailand,” she says.

Madison-based subscription box highlights international artisans

Another one of Amegashie’s goals for the company is to give a voice to products in a sensitive way. Global goods are often displayed as “crafts,” she says.

“I want to show the style and fashion of these products,” Amegashie says. “Global chic is everyday fashion. It’s a lifestyle and I’m a lifestyle brand.”

Amegashie won the 5x5x5 pitch competition this year hosted by Doyenne. The competition invited five female entrepreneurs to pitch their businesses to the group, and the winner received a $5,000 grant.

One of Doyenne’s judges, Alix Shabazz took a particular liking to MOSAIC Box. “Consumers are moving away from large corporations,” Shabazz says. “MOSAIC Box stood out to me because of its commitment to uplifting other small businesses. If I purchased a MOSAIC Box, I would feel proud to be receiving one-of-a-kind, handcrafted products made with love and integrity.”

Madison-based subscription box highlights international artisans

Amegashie plans to use the $5,000 to help refine the brand’s marketing strategy and expand its reach through social media throughout this holiday season.

The company’s newest creation, the Holiday Luxe Subscription Box, is now available on the MOSAIC Box website.