Saturday, June 22, 2013

Win a free scarf!

Over the years, I have enjoyed home parties. You know the kind: a bunch of women gather, a representative lays out her wares (everything from kitchen tools to jewelery, to makeup and skin care products that promise a glowing, beautiful face), and the attendees pick, choose, and fill out order forms. I've been both a rep and a hostess. Back in the late 70's I made sewed crafty items and held my own little in-home selling parties. Years later, I sold for The Pampered Chef (TM) since I loved the products. But alas, I gave up because I didn't feel right about asking already financially-strapped folks to buy what they could probably live without. Yeah. I'm not much of a saleswoman.

Borrowed from www.mytradesofhope.com/tamarawalston
But every one in a while, a business idea comes along that grabs my attention. I found that in 'Trades of Hope.' Until about a month or two ago, I had never heard of this group. But then I came across a friend's post, Tamara Walston (tamarawalston@gmail.com), on Facebook which led to my expedition through her website. The picture she posted was a beautiful bracelet that was made out of cereal boxes! Intriguing. There were even earrings to match. Even better.

Turns out, women in Haiti make all kinds of jewelry by recycling cardboard boxes. But how do they get their product into the hands of women like me?

'Trades of Hope' partners with already existing organizations to find artisan woman all around the world. These woman are often from impoverished nations, raising children on their own, living in leper colonies, trying to escape the sex-slave trade, or exist in war-torn regions. There are even several products that come from woman in the USA who have been rescued from prostitution and given new beginnings.

And who is behind this company that uses an in-home marketing strategy? A couple of Christ-following Florida moms and their college-age daughters, that's who. With a passion for business and a desire to see woman become self-sustaining, 'Trades of Hope' began. It is not a charity or a not-for-profit organization. However, the artisans they buy from do not want charity. In fact, they do not need charity. What they need is an outlet for their talents and fair prices for their wares.

'Trades of Hope' help women help themselves. They send sewing machines to Haiti, chickens and goats to Africa, supplies to Cambodia, and more. They educate these struggling artisans and teach them valuable business skills. And then they buy what is produced for whatever the artisans asks, which is a fair trade price. When you hold that scarf or bowl or purse, you can rest assured that the hands who made it have been fairly compensated and are now more able to feed and cloth their children. In fact, depending on the country, the artisan women are making about six times more than they would if they sold only in-country!

I'm planning on hosting a party in my home. Will I buy something I don't absolutely "need"? Probably. But will I feel good about it? Yes. I have my eye on the metal "Hope" bowl. My purchase will help underprivileged women to support themselves and their families. The products will have a "story" to tell. And, it will be indirect confirmation to those Florida entrepreneurs that good business (i.e. one that turns a profit) does not have to be cut-throat and without mercy and grace.

'Trades of Hope' wants to get out their story and have supplied me with a beautiful scarf to give away to one of my readers. For the next week, the contest will be open. First, go to www.mytradesofhope.com/tamarawalston and browse around. Find a product you love or an artisan you want to help with a purchase. Then, please comment on this post and tell me what you love. I will enter every commenter into a random drawing on Sunday, June 30. (Be sure to check back for the announcement! I will need to get your address.) If you win, I will send you a free scarf made by one of these woman. The picture to the right is my own Trades of Hope scarf. It is beautiful and
Nepali aqua scarf
wonderfully crafted. You'll love it!

Please consider hosting your own party. If there is not a Compassion Entrepreneur ('Trades of Hope' company representative) near you and you want to earn some money AND change lives, consider signing up. But of course, if you have neither the time nor inclination to become involved in the business, you can always do what we women do best: SHOP!

9 comments:

Liz Saum said...

Love so many things - beautiful jewelry! I think my favorite is the Oceana Earrings. Thanks for sharing - I am going to order several things!

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

Liz- Be sure to order from www.mytradesofhope.com/tamarawalston. That way my friend will get credit. I have changed the links on the blog to her personal site, which is this URL.

Thanks!

Hoss said...

I CAN say "Surprise!" See?

Heather Bellman said...

I have already ordered from Tamara and received my products. I am so impressed with the beauty of the earrings, especially the tri-leaf ones. I have worn them twice and have received compliments on them each time. So glad to be able to help someone get a fresh start on life!

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

Good boy, Hoss. :)

Heather- So glad you are pleased with the products. I am trying to select a date to hold a party.

Sarah Lynn said...

I really like the Pink Blush scarf, Uganda Bowl, and Uganda Wrap Bracelet!
This is so cool and inspiring!!!! I had no idea they existed--thank you for sharing, Rebekah!

Tamara Walston said...

I love the article and the comments. Thanks so much for writing this Rebecca. I received the scarf for the give away today. I cannot wait to see who wins it. If any of you are interested in hosting, or selling, let me know I would love to tell you more. Thanks again!

Rebekah Trittipoe said...

And the winner is....Can you believe it? Bob Hostettler, the Hoss Man. Really. You can be happy this time.

Shelly Walston said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! Trades of Hope is doing amazing things to help women around the world, and I love that you're helping get the word out :)