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Chaka MarketBridge

Generating financial & social returns in fair trade wholesale of handmade home décor from the developing-world’s best undiscovered producers

  • Stage Full Product Ready
  • Industry Retailing / Distribution
  • Location Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Currency USD
  • Founded December 2009
  • Employees 4
  • Website

Company Summary

Chaka collaborates with the developing world’s best undiscovered artisans to design and distribute trend-leading home furnishings. Our proven designers work directly with impoverished artisans to co-develop on-trend products which are sold directly to retailers across the US. In so doing, Chaka empowers developing-world artisans with life-changing market access and enriches the lives of design-driven, conscious consumers.


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    Neil Paine

    Neil co-founded Chaka based on his observation of developing-world artisans’ need for international market access while working as the Program Developer of a microfinance operation in Ecuador. Prior to Chaka, Neil’s experience includes working as a strategy management consultant, designing a social enterprise fellowship in India and founding a student social enterprise consulting group at UVA that designed microfinance programs on 4 continents.

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    Geoffrey Geiling
    Director of Sales & Finance

    As Chaka’s Dir. of Sales & Finance, Geoff’s primary responsibility is to grow and sustain Chaka’s national wholesale network of 120+ stores. Prior to founding Chaka, Geoff worked in financial consulting and analysis at Davenport & Co. and Cambridge Associates. Additionally, while studying finance at Virgina Tech, Geoff was a member of a student-run investment group that actively manages $5 million of the school’s endowment.

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    Arlen Estrada
    Nicaragua Product Director

    Arlen comes to Chaka with 10+ years of experience working with artisans in Nicaragua. With a degree in business, Arlen has run her own ceramics design and production business in Nicaragua for over a decade, and has significant experience working as a Project Manager for UN projects in the handicraft sector in Nicaragua. She currently directs Chaka’s operations in Nicaragua, including design, production, fulfillment and producer relations.

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    Kristen Walker
    Director of Social Impact

    Kristen Walker is a graduate of Virginia Tech and has extensive work and volunteer experience with a variety of organizations in Nicaragua. As the Director of Social Impact for Chaka, she ensures that Chaka is fostering positive and sustainable change in the lives and communities of partnering artisans in Nicaragua. She also develops and supports the Chaka buying community through newsletters, relational merchandising, and social media.


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    David W. Otey

Previous Investors

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    Peter Paine
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    Marion Paine