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Our Story

Handmade, fair trade, eco-friendly, Homewares, Slow-Fashion & Gifts since 1992

People & Nature

For over two decades, Balizen has been at the forefront of both the Fair Trade and sustainability movement. We create a unique line of ethical products for your home, garden and wardrobe. Our designs are inspired by nature and the Zen traditions of craftsmanship, simplicity, harmony and the use of natural and eco-friendly materials. 

Balizen has a deep respect for local artisans’ lifestyle, traditions and environment. We strive to maintain the spirit of compassion and the natural serendipity that occurs when one is doing something positive for the planet. We are proud members of the Fair Trade Federation and commit our time to working closely with local village communities to educate them on topics such as conservation, sustainable development and organic farming.

Balizen not only strives to bring love and joy to our artisans’ work and your home, but we also strive to share the abilities and sensibilities of one culture with another, in order to open up communication and help bring people together into a global family, just like our own.

The Founders

Andrea and Nyoman are the founders and creatives of Balizen and they split their time working between Bali and the USA. They run their business together with an incredible team of employees, artisan partners, and the wonderful support of their customers, family and friends.

Andrea’s parents called her “busy fingers” when she was young because she was continuously crafting and making something. She loves nature (especially trees) art, dance, crafts, language, culture, collaboration and creating products that make people smile. Andrea grew up in a family of insatiably curious and creative people, attended Waldorf School, and studied art in college. She worked as a fashion and costume designer and then went on to help her dad, making laboratory equipment for the public health sector across the globe. All these things have contributed to her attitude towards design and commitment to ethical and inclusive business practices.

Nyoman is a Bali native with a strong commitment to preserving the local Balinese culture, and helping build a greener and more sustainable future for Bali. He is the main facilitator for the Balizen community outreach and organic farming programs; is the leader of a Balinese farmers cooperative; and is spearheading and managing a large commercial, community based organic farming and reforestation project across Bali. Since covid started, Nyoman started the Pasar Rakyat Bali program, which is now run by our oldest son, helping Bali farmers and feeding people who were affected by the pandemic. Please check out their website and their youtube channel to see the wonderful work they have been doing. 

How We Work

Environmental Stewardship

In the early 90s, when their wholesale company was new, Andrea and Nyoman used to tell people that they only used natural, ecologically sustainable materials and most people had no idea what they were talking about. Thank goodness, terms like recycle, green, eco-friendly and carbon neutral are now household words. That’s great news for the planet.

Balizen uses ecologically sustainable and natural materials, with no harsh chemicals, or anything non-renewable. Balizen tries to recycle as much as possible and makes patchwork and crochet items from their factory fabric scraps. Everything in the Balizen collection is handmade by village artisans or in the Balizen in-house Fair Trade workshop.

Balizen supports and is involved in environmental education, re-forestation, organic farming and community empowerment projects, while also contributing to Greenpeace and Doctors Without Borders.

Preserving Traditional Handicrafts

Balizen utilizes, sustains, supports and promotes traditional, indigenous village handicrafts, so they can be enjoyed by future generations. Andrea and Nyoman train their workers and outside suppliers to improve efficiency and sustainability as well as the 5 Rs – reduce, re-use, recycle, refuse & repair. Balizen believes strongly in continuous improvement and is always looking to make things more efficient and sustainable.

Fair Trade

Balizen is a registered Fair Trade company and proud Fair Trade Federation member. This means that everyone employed by Balizen, as well as their subcontractors, get a fair living wage and have good working conditions. Balizen’s employees all have health insurance and a pension plan. But to Andrea and Nyoman, Fair Trade means more than those things – Fair Trade means fair to everyone, from the most basic material suppliers and growers to the end retail users. No one gets a huge mark up while someone else is getting little, and their customers get good value for money as well.