From The Mountain Sources LLC specializes in bringing the skills and products of artisans worldwide to new markets. We work to sustain handcraft traditions that have evolved in harmony with local ecosystems and are culturally significant. Founder Susan Inglis has worked with craftspeople in dozens of countries, and in dozens of handcraft traditions, increasing their reach and the appreciation for their traditions. We often find the artisans we work with through publicly-funded projects that make use of Susan's consulting services, and that is how we got started in the yarn business.
In 1987, Susan started a small sweater business using a knitting machine and her yarn stash. As Susan's Sweaters grew, she moved production to a women's collective in West Virginia, and began wholesaling her sweaters. In 1993, Susan was thrilled to be invited to work with weavers in Nepal who were processing and weaving nettle fiber, making traditional textile products that she adapted for US markets. Since then, she has collaborated with artisans in 38 countries on product development, production, and marketing, bringing their amazing creations to new markets.
While working as a consultant on a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project in 2011, Susan met Abdul Basir Hotak, owner of a cashmere processing business in Herat, Afghanistan. The project's goal was to improve the cashmere supply chain in Afghanistan, bringing new economic opportunity to rural areas. Mr. Hotak had long seen the potential for developing Afghan cashmere, and he seized the opportunity to invest in building a supply of this premium fiber. He also built a network of spinners in remote areas, managing a cottage industry that now supports over 100 women. After over a decade of conflict, many women have been left as heads of household, but with very few safe and socially acceptable ways to earn income. Spinning this cashmere provides families with an economic alternative to growing poppies for opium. Naturally, Susan fell in love with the yarn and the mission behind it, so From The Mountain became the sole US distributor of this lovely and important cashmere.