The International Folk Art Market | Online is a unique opportunity for international artists who have gone through the IFAA beginning training programs and want to learn about exporting and wholesaling their work while earning income at the same time. Offering both written materials and individual, one-on-one training on selling to vendors, websites, and stores, the program gives them a place to practice by selling their work through IFAM | Online. Each artist will have his or her own challenge. It might be customs or transportation. It might be quality control or pricing. The program provides a team of staff and volunteers that are there to help find solutions to every hurdle on the road to success.

President of ByHand Consulting

Karen GibbsKaren Gibbs developed the training programs for IFAM | Online and has worked closely with IFAA on the “Mentor to Market” programs.

Since 1994, Gibbs has dedicated her career to programs, organizations, and enterprises focused on creating and expanding markets for artisans and handmade products. In her current role as president of ByHand Consulting, Gibbs designs and manages handcraft-focused export marketing and business development programs for clients including foreign governments, international development organizations, and export enterprises. She is co-director of Artisan Partners @ Aspen, a new collaboration between the Aspen Institute, the HAND/EYE Fund, and ByHand Consulting to support the global artisan sector. She is also co-director of the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, a membership-based initiative to address critical issues in the artisan sphere. Gibbs co-founded and then sold Melange, which specializes in home and gift items from artisans worldwide, and was vice president of marketing and a board member of Aid to Artisans. Karen’s relationships with artists and buyers are extensive; she has traveled to more than 40 countries and maintains an extensive network of retail and wholesale buyers of handmade products.

Senior VP of Design and Creative Director of Donna Karan

Peter SpeliopoulosPeter Speliopoulos is the senior vice president of design and creative director of Donna Karan New York. He is on the board of IFAA and an advisor to IFAM | Online.  Speliopoulos was formerly creative director of Cerruti Arte, Paris, and has designed for leading international fashion houses in France, Italy, and New York, for over thirty years. Peter has also designed costumes for numerous internationally performed operas and ballets in collaboration with the choreographer /director Karole Armitage.

Speliopoulos is a native of Springfield, Massachusetts, and received his B.F.A. from the Parsons School of Design in 1982. He is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and serves on the board of Armitage Gone! Dance!

Founder, Hand/Eye Magazine and Hand/Eye Fund

Keith ReckerIn the worlds of fashion and home design, Keith Recker is known as a color guru. In fact he’s been called the “poet laureate of color.” Recker serves on the Board of Directors of IFAA and is the founder and editor of Hand/Eye magazine, an online endeavor that covers the intersections between art, craft, design, philanthropy, and enlightened consumption. Hand/Eye profiles forward looking creators, faraway cultures, ancient craft traditions, and cutting-edge design innovation.

Prior to founding Hand/Eye, Recker worked as a home furnishings executive, a nonprofit leader, and a color and branding consultant. He has had the privilege of working with established entities in both the commercial and nonprofit worlds, including CARE International, Gump’s San Francisco, Saks Fifth Avenue, Aid to Artisans, and Bloomingdale’s. His time as vice president of Direct Response Home Furnishings at Gump’s San Francisco and Bloomingdale’s, and as director of Home Furnishings at Saks Fifth Avenue, have given him a deep knowledge of nearly every category in the decorative home world. His work in product development and marketing has created lasting relationships across the industry.

During a two-year tenure as director of product development at Granet and Associates, Recker helped create relationships between creative brands and manufacturers and marketers serving the retail sector and the design trade. Clients included Clodagh, Jamie Drake, John Barman, Richard Mishaan, Campion Platt, Suzanne Kasler, Pantone, and John Varvatos. Recker continues to work with Pantone and London-based WGSN on color matters, and with U.S. and international artisan associations on trends and product development.

Associate Director of IFAM |Online

Hilary KilpatricHilary Kilpatric, a native Santa Fean who joined IFAA in 2013, brings a wide array of experience to IFAM | Online – everything from working as an auditor for Deloitte & Touche, to running a gymnastics school, to serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala. She is a licensed CPA and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Economics with a minor in Accounting from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and a Master’s degree in International Relations from San Francisco State University. “IFAA’s mission is to serve the artists, and a good part of that means listening to their needs and addressing them. My hope is that this new program, by further educating and empowering these remarkable people, does just that. I’m excited to witness the impact this training will have, on both the artists and their communities.”

For more information, interview requests, and photos, please contact Clare Hertel at 505-474-6783 or