How Altari saves ancient craft from extinction
Altari was born with a clear mission: to save ancient forms of craftsmanship from extinction. The leather mosaic - the 1500-year-old Tatar art form at the heart of Altari - is merely one of many vanishing crafts around the world that map the journey of our civilization. Passed down from generations across millennia, they are a testament to who we were, are and will be.
We are fascinated by this and firmly believe these forms of art are worth preserving. That’s why we created Altari - to pioneer a new model that brings the ancient craft to relevance through modern design and products of the highest quality.
But how does Altari save ancient crafts from extinction?
We have a plan based on three short-term and three long-term actions:
How we save art from extinction today
- Create demand for the art
Altari designs reinterpret traditional leather mosaics as a part of modern, edgy, functional handbags. By marketing these handbags to a niche of sophisticated clients across the globe, Altari will create demand for the skills that go into making a mosaic.
This, and a steady supply of orders we will commission from our artisans at fair prices will support the growth of artisanal activity and attract a new generation of mosaic makers.
- Train the new generation of leather mosaic artisans
Making a leather mosaic is a meticulous process that requires focus, consistency and fine craftsmanship. These skills have been passed down from generations across thousands of years, but this chain has been broken.
The lack of economic activity in mosaic-making has failed to attract a younger generation of artisans and has led many masters of the craft to abandon their line of work.
A new wave of aspiring artisans will be trained and supported by these masters. Not only will this allow us to ensure the highest quality standard, but by respecting these traditional methods of teaching, it will allow the core skills of the leather mosaic to thrive.
- Support local entrepreneurship
At Altari, we are immensely proud to work with the remaining masters of mosaic making. From independent artisans to founders of local workshops, we will support all kinds of entrepreneurs.
Altari will establish a micro-financing, not for profit fund that will provide loans at advantageous rates for our artisans. These loans will help our partners to expand their facilities and support the proliferation of their refined skill set. We will also work with the local government to gather as much backing as possible partners.
How we ensure a future for ancient forms of craftsmanship
- Raise awareness of the leather mosaic art
The leather mosaic, and what it represents as a vanishing piece of our cultural heritage, is the soul of Altari. In spreading the word on our company, our mission, vision, and products we will raise awareness of the leather mosaic art.
Doing so will open the door to several opportunities that range from a renewed local interest in buying, selling and manufacturing mosaics to an increase in tourism and other alternate streams of revenue for these artisans.
- Promote the recognition of the leather mosaic as an endangered form of art
Recognizing and officially documenting the leather mosaic as an endangered form of ancient art is key to its survival.
We aim to lead this craft and its artisans to gain the recognition of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) as a Traditional Cultural Expression (TCE).
- Pioneer a new luxury business model
Altari is pioneering a new business model within the luxury industry. By developing modern products of the highest quality, based on the cultural value of ancient forms of art, Altari can create deep and meaningful experiences for its clients, not offered by comparable alternatives.
The success of this business model could spark a movement to revive other traditional crafts that are vanishing all over the world.
At Altari we don’t believe in zero-sum games. We have built a business that will bring advantages to all its stakeholders along the value chain.
The progress we’ll make in saving the leather mosaic art from extinction will be documented in a yearly publication: ‘The state of the leather mosaic.’
To ensure we are succeeding in the pursuit of our mission, we will measure and report key performance metrics that include the existing number of artisans, the number in training and much more.
We are excited to embark on a journey that will enrich our lives, deepen our cultural sensibility and redefine what a luxury product represents.