The Upreneur podcast has partnered up with SCORE, hosted by Jeremy Straub, to help bring engaging conversations with today’s top leaders and business owners. In today’s episode, we sat down with Ian Bentley, Co-Founder & CEO of Parker Clay, and talked about how Ethiopia is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and this has allowed Ian to create jobs and opportunities to empower the people of Ethiopia. Parker Clay is deeply committed to producing every product ethically and sustainably without compromising on quality, while also transforming the community through trade.
In 2011 everything changed for Ian Bentley when he and his wife Brittany traveled to Ethiopia to adopt their daughter. Not only did they fall in love with the country, the culture, and the people they met, but they also saw first hand both a need and an opportunity to develop a company that could meet that need. Ian and his family moved to Ethiopia in 2012 to help support vulnerable women and children, and it was there they founded Parker Clay as a way to further transform the community through trade.
With a background in business development and a passion to enact change, Ian, along with his wife Brittany, laid the framework for Parker Clay while living in Ethiopia. Their desire was to create a company that showcased Ethiopian leather and premium craftsmanship, while also providing meaningful work and job training to underemployed and unemployed people in Ethiopia. Now Ian is co-founder and CEO of Parker Clay, a premium leather company making products in Ethiopia. Parker Clay is deeply committed to producing every product ethically and sustainably without compromising on quality, while also focused on creating job opportunities that empower vulnerable women to not just survive but thrive.
After living in Ethiopia for three years, Ian, his wife Brittany, and their 5 children moved back to their hometown of Santa Barbara to open the flagship Parker Clay store and continue to grow the business in the United States.
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