I began importing folk art 13 years ago, after dreaming about doing it for years, and being encouraged by friends. There are many different kinds of importers, including those who work with large-scale manufacturers, or with companies that ship directly to clients, or who specialize in one product line or work only online.
Finally, in 2005, while traveling in Mexico, and once again overcome by beautiful folk art, I made the decision to purchase a quantity of handicrafts, had them shipped home, and began my import business, Global Hands Artisans, in earnest.
I recently took a trip to colonial Oaxaca, Mexico, which is a place I highly recommend for a budding suitcase importer to find their feet. The villages surrounding the city are home to some world-renowned artists, and each village specializes in a different type of folk art.