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Helping Artisans Thrive

One entrepreneur turned his desire for cultural preservation into a booming business.

This story appears in the October 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Traveling through his native country of , Manish Gupta witnessed a fading trade. "I met many artisans who made beautiful products but couldn't even make a dollar a day," he says.

As a result, Gupta found that the younger generations in the villages he visited weren't interested in continuing the practice, and he feared that the would disappear. "I realized I have a lot of opportunities and skills that I could use to help these people and this industry," says Gupta, 30, who previously worked for . Inspired by his travels, he started Handmade Expressions in 2005, which sells products such as handbags, jewelry, stationery and table accessories that Gupta sources from cooperatives in India.

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