I can’t believe that I’ve not posted anything since June! ahhhh. It has been so busy since I returned from Nepal. That is no excuse, but lots to talk about. Since returning, my main focus has been working on the new handbag designs. Once we go into production, it’s critical that the finished work looks as nice as the pre-production samples. Our shipment left Nepal in early August and arrived at our warehouse in early October… and they are beautiful. I love them. These are the best designs we’ve ever done.
We also came out with our new wholesale catalog. Lots of help on this from many different people. We had two photo sessions, one in MD and one in New Orleans. Then Jen our designer did an incredible job on the layout and the catalogs look perfect.
We’re now focused on updating the website. New homepage coming soon with a really cool slide show viewer. Should be out in a few days.
But the project that I’m most excited about is a new initiative called Divas4Divas. My feeling is that we (fair trade companies) are all working together to help others and help each other. Some companies that are members of the fair trade federation, FairTradeFederation.org, are retailers who buy from us, some are producers who make these beautiful items. And we as a group all work together to try to explain the benefits and showcase the beauty of these unique products so consumers in the U.S. will buy them and benefit the artisans.
Divas4Divas is our effort to help raise awareness of the many artisan groups that are run by women, or who employ mainly women, and work to benefit women in the developing world. We know there are millions of women shoppers in the U.S. that don’t want to buy cheap products made in China under sweatshop labor conditions. They want their purchase to make a difference, to have a direct and meaningful impact on the person that made the item. Many shoppers this year will buy local and buy products that support American workers, and we think this is critical. Etsy is a great website that makes many beautiful handcrafted items and supports American craftswomen. If you’ve not visited it lately, please do so.
But our focus in on fair trade and helping women in the developing world who most likely don’t have running water or electricity in their home. Who have children that don’t go to school and don’t have any form of health care. Without orders from us and other retailers, without products to make, they are not paid, and they have few options to feed their family. So for us, who work in the fair trade business, we are passionate about helping others and helping to spread the word of the benefits of fair trade.
We know that every time someone in America buys a hand crated, fair trade made item from an Artisan, it will have a direct and meaningful benefit to the person who made it. And there are many, many companies that do what we do. Many are members of the fair trade federation, and many are members of other great fair trade organizations. Some are large retailers like Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage that support Earth Divas. Others like Overstock.com have created a fair trade, online marketplace. Still others like 10,000 Villages and Global Exchange have retail stores. We’re all working to help bring this idea of socially responsible shopping into the mainstream. But today it’s hard to find one resource that makes it really easy to find online and off-line retailers that support fair trade.
Our goal with Divas4Divas is to showcase these many great artisans groups and the retail stores that support them and sell their wares. We want to make it easy for women shoppers in the U.S. to buy something that benefits other women who don’t have the same opportunities that we have here in the U.S. To do this, we’re creating one page on our website that will give shoppers the information that they need to find the products that they like support the artisan group that made them.
The page will soon launch on our website and can be found at EarthDivas.com/Divas4Divas.
We’re asking you to help us spread the word. We have no marketing budget, but we’re going to promote this page on our blog, in Facebook and on Twitter, and our hope is that our readers will share this page with their friends. In this way, we can all collectively work together to help others by simply sharing a link and shopping at fair trade retailers that support fair trade Artisans. Thank you for your help and for helping us spread the word.