My name is Rikki Quintana, and I am the founder and CEO of HoonArts Fair Trade, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “HoonArts” is the fusion of the Tajik word for “craft” and the English word “arts,” which reflects our mission to build a bridge between the artisans of Central Asia and the US. We offer unique, often one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted clothing, home décor, gifts and accessories that reflect the ancient Silk Road artistic traditions of the small Central Asian artisan groups with whom we work. As a Fair Trade company, we are committed to Community and Empowerment through Craftsmanship. Our dream is to build a sustainable US market for these extraordinary treasurers, helping our artisans to build a future beyond daily survival. I invite you explore and shop our unique collection at our online store.
When I retired from practicing law in late 2011, I wanted to return to the world that had always spoken to my heart–the world of international connections. I volunteered with a local organization that hosted short-term professional exchange delegations from around the world. We hosted our first delegation from Tajikistan in late 2013. We were so inspired by these young professionals who were so passionate about making a difference back home that my colleague and I founded our own nonprofit organization, Bridges to Tajikistan, to help them.
In November 2014, we hosted another delegation from Tajikistan, which included a member who works in eco-tourism and handicraft promotion. We learned that no one was working with the artisans of Tajikistan to build a US market for their work. By the end of the week, I decided that someone had to take a leap of faith, and that someone was me.
I founded HoonArts Fair Trade in November 2014, received my first handicraft products from Tajikistan in late November 2014, and the rest is history. Since 2014, I have been working to acquaint the US market with the artistic traditions, history and culture of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
I work directly with the small artisan groups that produce our remarkable products. Our textile designers are all recognized master artisans in their home countries, have participated in international exhibitions in Europe and Asia, and have received various awards for their work, including the UNESCO Award of Excellence for Craft. Several have participated in the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market.
Many of our artisans who work in the textile arts are impoverished women from rural villages who have no other source of cash income. Their life is a daily struggle. Success in the US market will transform the future for these women, their families and their communities. That is why HoonArts Fair Trade exists. And it is my fervent hope that by connecting people in the US with these amazing artisans and their culture and history, we can make a small contribution to building a more peaceful, prosperous world for all of us.