Cover Photo: Jonathan Chong for Tatler Malaysia

The founder of Earth Heir supports traditional artisans, championing their craftsmanship through beautiful accessories

At the beginning of 2020, Earth Heir received a certification from World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) in recognition of the social enterprise's commitment to create opportunities for the disadvantaged, fair trade practices, and respect for the environment, among others. 

"From day one, we have been providing traditional artisans with a source of income. Having this certification from WFTO validates our mission and vision, and keeps us on track as a fair trade company," said founder Sasibai Kimis.

Giving up a high flying career with Lehman Brothers, Sasibai established Earth Heir in 2014 out of a desire to breathe new life into traditional ethnic crafts that were losing their lustre in comparison with trendier options. The organisation works directly with the artisans, eliminating middle men thus ensuring that they are paid fairly for their work as well as the quality of the products.

Sasibai has personally met every single artisan who creates Earth Heir's collection of apparel, bags, fine gifts and home accessories, a practice she firmly believes in continuing. The Wharton graduate doesn't just provide these artisans with a platform to sell their products; she empowers them with the skill and knowledge to be better business people.

Through her efforts, she has given these artisans a steady means of income. Her contributions have made her a hero to the community, and we at Tatler believe her selfless deeds make her a hero to the rest of us too.

Despite the pandemic, Sasibai has been able to keep the momentum going for Earth Heir and their artisans. For one, she answered the call for reusable face masks, prompting her seek out the help of refugee craftspeople to make them. Watch one of these artisans pay tribute to Sasibai in this video: 

Above Tribute to Sasibai Kimis, recipient of Tatler's Hero Award 2020
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