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Corporate swag can be wasteful and gross. Here’s how one CEO is changing that

Someone Somewhere CEO Antonio Nuño pivoted to making elevated swag for the likes of Google and Uber, while paying artisans in Mexico and Peru’s poorest regions a fair wage

Corporate swag can be wasteful and gross. Here’s how one CEO is changing that
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Antonio Nuño’s online retail company Someone Somewhere sells apparel and accessories that use proprietary materials made by artisans in Mexico and Peru’s poorest states. A certified B Corp, Someone Somewhere supplies villages with smartphones so that they can receive orders and collaborate with Someone Somewhere designers, and pays workers 51% more than the minimum wage, raising artisans’ monthly income by 300% on average. While initially launched on Kickstarter in 2016 (with friends Fátima Álvarez and Enrique Rodriguez), the company found its footing in 2020 with a new business: making company swag for the likes of Google, Uber, WeWork, and the UN. Launched during COVID-19, the B2B business started as a way to keep retail employees from Someone Somewhere’s five stores on staff, and help artisans that were losing business as tourism tanked. Nuño quickly pivoted to training employees on sales outreach, and worked to develop an in-house program that mocks up custom products with a brand’s colors in a matter of minutes. “After a few weeks we realized that this was a huge world, and that there was a huge need for better products [of this kind] in terms of design, sustainability, and ethics,” Nuño says. The company’s swag business has grown 20-30% each month—and is on track to hit 5200% growth by the end of the year. These partnerships alone have generated 1 million hours of work for artisans, allowing the company to grow its team of artisan partners by 50%.

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