I just love summer. I can’t get enough of the warm, sunny New England days - swimming in our stunning lakes, hiking with my dogs and hopping on my bike. And of course – summer festivals! For years my husband and I attended music festivals and craft fairs all summer long as spectators, and now we spend most weekends with our Women’s Peace Collection booth, selling our fair trade handicrafts. We've been out in the hot sun, the rain, tropical winds and the perfect summer day - and it’s a blast!
The only drawback to selling primarily online is that we don’t have many opportunities to meet our customers in person. So this year we decided to be more visible and get to know our customers better. At festivals and fairs all over New England, from Cambridge to the Berkshires, we’ve met amazing people. As an extrovert there’s nothing I like more than schmoozing with people, so I’ve thoroughly enjoyed talking with people from all walks of life about fair trade. And once again, I’m humbled and delighted by the response we consistently get not only about our products but about our mission. The truth is people love to help other people! Both women and men, over and over, tell us how they love buying gifts with a purpose (for themselves as well). More people than ever are asking for cards that describe their purchase so the recipient can know the story behind it (and we’ve listened and are now providing them whenever possible).
And we’re carrying more products with particularly interesting stories, such as the jewelry collection made from melted down artillery shells in Ethiopia and our new jewelry made by survivors of human trafficking. And while it’s wonderful that so many people already know about and understand fair trade, it’s also very exciting to educate people who want to learn more. I just love hearing parents explaining to their children that the item they just bought is helping a woman out of poverty.
Soon we’ll be heading into fall where harvest festivals abound but for now I’m soaking in the summer sun, surrounded by all of my beautifully handmade fair trade crafts.