What a year! For the past couple of months our team has worked 24/7, or so it seems. Between weekend festivals and shipping packages we have become keenly aware of how much Women’s Peace Collection has grown.
In 2017 we focused more and more of our attention on selling products made by survivors of human trafficking and victims of sexual or domestic abuse. You have probably noticed how much our Freedom Collection has grown. As the owner, I feel increasingly drawn to supporting these women. The more I learn about the horrors women around the world experience on a daily basis, the more I feel responsible for doing my small part to help them live a life of freedom. The 3 non-profits we partner with, Her Future Coalition, Starfish Project and International Sanctuary, rescue the women, teach them how to make jewelry, offer healthcare, housing and counseling. I’m so grateful for each of these amazing organizations and the work they are doing to change the lives of these brave women. And of course the jewelry they make is so beautiful and our customers love it.
We also tried out some fair trade clothing for the first time, which was a huge hit. Our Maggie’s Organics organic cotton wraps and ponchos were the best sellers and we couldn’t keep them in stock. Easy to wear, one size fits all, and reasonably priced, it was exciting to find ethical clothing that women love! We will be adding more in 2018 so stay tuned.
Our commitment to fair trade practices continues to grow and one of the most rewarding benefits is being part of a fair trade community. New friendships have forged, and it’s gratifying to have colleagues who are as passionate about fair trade as we are. As each order comes in, I think of the artisans whose lives are benefitting and how ethical shopping really does make a difference. I wish I could personally meet each artisan - that’s a goal for sure.
One of things that touched me most this year was the outpouring of help we received from friends and family. As things got super busy the unsolicited assistance from loved ones was truly moving. To all of you - we couldn’t have done it without you and are forever grateful!
The fairs and festivals are where we get to meet our customers in person, which is a real treat. Each year I hear more and more positive comments from shoppers when they see the words “fair trade” on our sign, and it’s clear that people really do want to help others with their purchases. They want informational cards with the items so that the recipients can know that it’s not only a beautiful, handmade item, but also the story behind it. And I LOVE telling the artisan stories!
Thanks to all of you for continuing to support Women’s Peace Collection and our mission to help improve the lives of women and families across the globe. Without you we couldn’t do any of this. We are ever so grateful!