It started as a journey of self-discovery in 1991 when Four Hands founder, Brett Hatton, set off to retrace the ancient Silk Trade route from China to Europe. Along the way he discovered antique furniture and rare architectural pieces in Pakistan and India and soon returned to purchase his first container for the opening of a retail store in England. Brett named it Four Hands, since each piece was hand-selected and touched by hand.
In 1996, Brett took his first big risk. With no backers, no sales force, and having never attended a trade show; he borrowed everything he could from family and friends and opened a wholesale importer business in Austin, Texas. Within three years he had built a business that was growing 120% annually.
He took a second risk by forsaking antiques for new production. Historically, Indian exports were low quality and poorly finished. The company focused on its own original designs, aligning factories, introducing new techniques, and putting its own QA team on the ground. As a result, Four Hands helped lead the Lifestyle trend, one of the hottest segments in the industry.
Next came expansion throughout Asia, including purchasing a factory in China and achieving a balanced load between India and China. Four Hands now has permanent, international offices in China and India. We now have operations in Indonesia, Thailand, Central America and Mexico.
Inspired by a desire to give back to the overseas countries that had influenced him so much, founder Brett Hatton established the Learn to Live Foundation in 2004. Learn to Live aims to better the lives of children in India by providing them with the self-esteem, confidence, education, skills, and mental aptitude to become tomorrow’s world leaders.
Four Hands’ Learn to Live Foundation soon partnered with the Miracle Foundation (TMF), announcing the ongoing sponsorship of 20 orphaned children in TMF’s Sooch Village orphanage (Ranchi, India) and the construction of two orphanage cottages at the Bhawani Home for Children (Jharsuguda, India).
The Miracle Foundation, based in Austin, is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of orphans in India and around the world. TMF operates four children’s homes and one home for unwed mothers. Founded eight years ago on Mother’s Day by Caroline Boudreaux, TMF renovates existing orphanages, builds new ones, raises money for construction and finds sponsors for the children.
India has more than 25 million orphans – equal to the population of Texas. Hatton noted that his foundation’s goal is to help improve each orphan’s life and to work to end the cycle of poverty through education. “TMF is a natural choice for us to partner. They have achieved so much in such a short time.”