I have a dream. Martin Luther King, Jr. sure had one. We all should have a dream, something that we want to accomplish in our lifetime. It may not be as big and audacious as MLK’s, but it could be.
Mine is to end world hunger, end global conflict, end global poverty and wipe out preventable disease in the developing world and hopefully bring happiness and hope to a lot of people that don’t have it right now. It sounds a bit grand, I know. But the path to accomplishing this dream is very clear to me, and it can be summed up in one single, simple word: Trade.
Trade is a very simple but powerful word. Someone, somewhere makes something, and they sell it to someone and receive money for that item or service and hopefully a profit, which in turn allows them to buy something from someone else who then hopefully makes a profit. As this process is repeated over and over, good things can happen to those involved in this process. When people make something, and receive a fair profit for it, they can pay to educate their children, they can pay for nutritious and healthy food, they can pay for medicine and clean water. And people who are making things, and getting paid for them, are less likely to take up arms against their neighbor or their customer. Business and trade has a funny way of making friends out of people who might not otherwise be friends.
I’m a lucky guy because I can spend every waking minute pursing my dream. I don’t need to work to make money. I’ve made money in the past and my wife works at Marriott and makes enough to pay the bills, and then some.
At Earth Divas we return 100% of all company profits to the artisans that make the goods. I am the only employee at Earth Divas and I don’t take a salary or any compensation. We outsource all back-end services to RML (RMLsite.com) who handle fulfillment, customer service and all back-office operations. They can handle any size volume, so our ability to grow is limitless.
Earth Divas is a simple concept. It’s a bridge… a platform that enables trade and commerce. It provides the mechanism that allows a woman, primarily a woman, but not exclusively, in a developing country to make a product which is then sold to a customer in the U.S.A, and the profit is returned to her.
I work with artisans in Nepal and India, and we make mainly handbags, but we also make hats, scarves, mittens and holiday gift items. They are better quality, better designs and less expensive than the cheap Chinese products, and 100% of the profits from the sale of these items go back to the artisans that make them.
We now have the most incredible and amazing products, and our goal is to sell these items to a larger market in the U.S.A. Our line is currently supported by many great local health food stores, fair trade stores, gift shops and larger chains like Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage. We want our fair trade products to be sold in mainstream big box retailers such as Target, Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Kohls, JC Penny’s, and Sears. Once we start to sell to the large mass retailers our profits will grow and we’ll expand our line to other countries, and slowly but surely my dream will come true. There is no doubt in my mind.