Closer Look with Rose Scott, Local

Atlanta Business Owner Brings SustainAble Home Goods To Ponce City Market

LaToya Tucciarone is the owner of SustainAble Home Goods at Ponce City Market.
LaToya Tucciarone is the owner of SustainAble Home Goods at Ponce City Market.
Credit Candace Wheeler / WABE

The history of the Fair Trade Movement dates backs to the 1940s and ’50s when the United States began buying needlework from Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory. Since then, it has grown to an international movement, including millions of farmers and workers around the globe.

Here in Atlanta, one local entrepreneur has started a home goods business — using items sourced globally from artists and craft-makers — called SustainAble Home Goods and Accessories.

Its owner LaToya Tucciarone said the idea to create her company came from her experiences traveling the globe with her husband, where, in addition to celebrating unique cultures, they also witnessed poverty.

“We’ve seen organizations come into those spaces and try to help by offering aid, or coming in and creating their own systems for people to partake in, and we’ve just seen those systems fail,” Tucciarone said. “For us [we thought] there has to be a better way to engage in the issue of world poverty.”

It was those experiences paired with Tucciarone getting the opportunity to work with a fair trade jewelry company for two years, which sparked the idea for SustainAble Home Goods.

“That was the first time I saw business being used for the good of others, and seeing how business could be used as a tool of empowerment for people, especially in countries where craft culture is such a big deal,” Tucciarone said. “SustainAble was born out of those two realities of trying to find a dignified way to engage in world poverty and using business as a tool for good.”

SustainAble Home Goods officially launched in 2017 as an online business with some pop-up shopping experiences around metro Atlanta. At the beginning of this year, Tucciarone started speaking with representatives from Ponce City Market about finding a more permanent space. The company opened a full-time space inside a shipping container in March 2019.

The company sources goods from at least 25 different countries, including Peru, Zimbabwe, Senegal and Guatemala.

Tucciarone said the artists she purchases from set their prices for their goods with some negotiating involved and that within the past year, she’s worked to have more direct relationships with artisans.

“Fair trade is not a charity; it’s a way of doing business where the producers, and the good of the producers, is put at the forefront,” Tucciarone said.

Ultimately Tucciarone believes SustainAble Home Goods is more than just a good business model.

“We believe that sustainability is not just about being eco-friendly and about the planet, but we also believe in sustainable jobs for people in marginalized communities,” Tucciarone said. “We also believe that when you can create sustainable jobs, you can create sustainable communities and then a sustainable planet.”

You can listen to the full interview with SustainAble Home Goods and Accessories owner LaToya Tucciarone above and learn more about the company here.