“There are so many talented artists in Armenia, but the only market they have is Russia and Armenia in summer when there are a lot of tourists. Besides, that market is very limited,” said Lusine Simonyan. She is the founder of Miray Collections, an online platform that is presenting Armenian artists and jewelry makers.
Miray solves the problem with shipping in its own way. The company buys a lot of products and ships to customers from the US. This makes it so much easier by saving s
hipping costs and a huge amount of time. “In Armenia they don’t have the infrastructure for online businesses. For example, they don’t accept major credit cards like Visa, MasterCard and others. The only access they have is Etsy, but again the shipping takes a long time. Living in the US, where everything is happening so fast (we have Amazon with two days prime shipping), no one wants to wait for six weeks for an item to arrive. That’s why representing these artists in US gives them so much opportunities and accessibilities to all the infrastructures that work so well here,” Lusine explains.
Her family travels a lot, which allows her transport the items beforehand and have them “in stock” almost all the time when the order is placed. During the Buy Armenian movement, Miray’s sales increased up to 40 percent. “The more we support our fellow Armenians, the more money goes back to Armenia and goes to Armenian businesses. These artists spend most of their time creating. They don’t have time for marketing and selling — that’s where we come in to help,” Lusine shared. This is the strategy she uses to represent over 40 artists from Armenia.
The Buy Armenian movement united Armenians during the most challenging time of war. Even after the painful defeat, the revival of national identity still remains strong and gives hope for significant growth and progress.
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