Refugee Artisan Initiative Website

Refugee Artisan Initiative Website Update

  • Organization: Refugee Artisan Initiative
  • Timeframe: 2018-19
  • My role: UX Designer and advisor (Brand consulting and identity guides, Shopify site updates, Email template updates, content writing and site production, some marketing and promotions)
  • Resources: Website


The RAI website was in pretty good shape, with some good photography, a good logo, and initial content about the organization. However, RAI had a branding issue: they had started as Mimi Globe Goods, the owner's own brand, but had become a nonprofit with a larger mission to support refugees who move to the US. They needed their site to have the same brand as the tags on their goods, and also needed to sell the products that the refugees made. The store they had was not set up with categories properly and the emphasis between donating and shopping was not evenly split. Their target users for selling their goods were very different from the charity users, but there was crossover. During the project, they launched a new service doing small batch manufacturing, and that started to take off.

Key Challenges

Our biggest challenge was deciding whether to start a separate website for their retail brand or keep the nonprofit info together wtih the webstore. Keeping it separate would allow for a more robust ecommerce site, with navigation, merchandising and menus that would cater to the shopping experience. Recognizing that the retail side was not growing as quickly as the charity organization, the board made a final decision to keep the brand as one with RAI becoming the only brand name to use.


I combined all of the MiMi Globe retail brand under RAI in one site, and split the main two profiles and actions - Donate or Shop - prominently on the home page. I emphasized the stories about the artisans and the organizations' crucial role throughout the site, and helped write the mission statement and other content on the site so that common questions would be answered, and each page had related links and no dead ends. I evaluated various ecommerce platforms, and recommended using Shopify for the site management. I customized a Theme for some improved functionality and design that would accomodate the storefront functionality along with plenty of information on the organization and current events. I set up the new site navigation and store categories, and created forms for getting volunteers, taking job applications, and getting manufacturing requests in an organized way. I updated the email templates for consistent branding as well, and the client updated all of their product tags and social media with the new brand.


  1. We launched the new site before deadline - within three months.
  2. The client was very happy with the results, and we got a lot of positive feedback from the site visitors, but sales were very slow for the first six months. An additional marketing effort is underway to continually draw more traffic to the site.


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Category Page

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Product Detail Page

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Site Nav

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How to Help

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