About

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Rubina is a collaborative e-commerce destination that brings you exclusive products made by fashion designers and women artisans participating in traditional crafts around the world. These products are not only designed and produced to the highest level of craftmanship, but also allow a female craft entrepreneur to build her business from her traditional craft or craft-based skill which gives her the power to chose the life she wants for herself and her family.

Our team curates accessory products such as scarves, jewelry, belts, shoes; just to name a few. Most products are made exclusively for Rubina and sold through our online shop and curated events around New York.

Rubina values the story of who, how, why, what, and where behind the products. Many are shared on our Partners page, and Rubina Magazine.

There are many many more plans in the works to make this platform a better place to buy, learn, and grow a community of conscious women who want to truly know the women artisans and designers working with them. 

As we grow, we'll commit to putting thought and heart into the curations we put together for you, whether it's through our monthly collaborations or our own collection. Stay informed by signing up for our newsletter below to learn about Monthly Releases and upcoming partner events in New York and select cities around the US.

Meeting Rubina in Nowshera, Pakistan (Photo taken by Emma Presler)Our Story

Rubina was first inspired by a trip to Pakistan in 2005 where founder Kari Litzmann met a woman named Rubina who expressed the desire to start her own business, with all of the skills, determination and vision required but lacking the socio-economic means to do so. Since then Kari has worked on women's development initiatives around the world focusing on design as a catalyst for change. In 2011, she started Rubina by making annual trips to India to partner with artisans and designers all working towards the same goal: making beautiful products while incorporating women with a high level of skill and tradition into the process to create better livelihoods.

From January to June 2012, our team was based in India to recruit the first artisan and design partners that would launch the platform in September of 2012. We established relationships with more than fourteen design-led companies and organizations that meet our criteria to bring our community exclusive products and offerings. These partnerships have sprouted others around the world. 

Kari Litzmann, Founder and CEO

Kari has spent eight years working as a designer and branding consultant in New York with the purpose of strengthening the voice of women around the world. Her clients have included microfinance organizations like Women’s World Banking and women's academic institutions like Barnard CollegeShe received her Masters from the Pratt Design Management program in 2005, during which she conducted thesis research on how Design Management is relevant in economically-impoverished communities, and where she discovered the power of design to make positive change in the world. She has presented her research at ERA05, an international design congress in Copenhagen, Denmark, as well as at FrontRunner Monthly Social Entrepreneur Series in New York. She currently serves as the Chapter Leader of New York Women Social Entrepreneurs, a network of more than 1800 women involved in the social enterprise and CSR space in New York. She received her Bachelors in Environmental Design from Texas A&M University through which she spent the fall of 2001 studying at Virginia Tech’s design consortium school in Alexandria, VA while working at the Smithsonian Museum of American History. She worked with Kala Raksha, a groundbreaking NGO that empowers artisans through design in Kutch India, and returned to India at the beginning of 2012 to spend five months building partnerships with design companies and women artisans for the launch of ShopRubina.com. She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY and is inspired by the entrepreneurial community there working to make the world a better place.