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Brand Story

PREQUEL (2008)

Just like most businesses are created. ArtiKen was the result of a want and a disconnect in the market. Close your eyes and let’s go back in time. It was the Summer of 2008 and just another day for Christopher Hough, the Founder and CEO behind the operation. At the time, he was the Captain of the Men’s XC program at the University of West Florida (Pensacola, FL) which led to being responsible for picking up Titus Cheruiyot from the airport. Titus was one of the teams recruits for the 2009 season; however, Titus was different than the other recruits, he had been recruited from Kenya.

PREQUEL

Christopher had picked up Titus that evening and immediately recognized a unique bracelet on his wrist - something he had never seen before. Titus was wearing a beaded bracelet that was made up to represent the Kenya flag. Christopher and Titus would go on to be not just teammates but roommates. Over time, Christopher could not resist but to ask Titus how could he source his own handmade bracelet from Kenya. Unfortunately, Christopher would go on to graduate and move on without ever acquiring one.

SEQUEL (2015)

Yep. You read that correctly. Fast forward 7 years and Christopher found his way to Portland, Oregon and now employed by Nike. It was just another day and he was out for a run during his lunch break when he ran into Paul Chelimo and Shadrack Kipchirchir doing the same thing. He had seen them before, about 5 years prior at a track meet in Gainesville, FL. Running in opposite directions, Christopher had made eye contact with both of these athletes wrist and lo and behold, were the exact same bracelets he had seen on Titus 7 years ago. Refusing to let this opportunity falter, he turned around, caught up to them, caught his breath, and started to mention that he had a teammate 7 years ago that wore the same bracelet and was very interested in acquiring one for himself.

TODAY

On July 4, 2016, after a ton of similar interest, Chris launched ArtiKen.com to bring the same products he had chased to you. Today, the best artisans in the world create the masterpieces that live on the site. A team that is growing larger and larger everyday. Every purchase provides more full time jobs for these artisans that may have not had a job previously. Better than that, each purchase is making amazing change through the 10% of net profits that aid in clean water initiatives in the same country the products are made. Wanna know more about the clean water project? Of course you do! Check it out here.

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