I’m on the verge of hysteria. This is a thing I’ve been sitting on for a really long time, and in these days when it is soon to go live I find myself…jittery.
What the heck do I know about merchandising? Discounts. Coupons. Buy-one-get…promotions. My only retail experience – ever – was at the men’s clothing shop that lived on Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland, Ohio back in 1970 (I’m sure I have the name of it in many diary entries from the time; all I did in those days was write!) Unless you count that 2-week stint at Burger King (Cleveland also, sigh), which I don’t think you should.
But then the story of the Nakuru women’s collective – the African Women & Youth Initiative – did compel me. The beauty of the bags they craft by hand does enchant me. The fact that a chunk of the proceeds from sales of the bags benefit an orphanage does inspire me.
And before I knew it, I was launching a website.
What if we broke down the barriers between artisans worldwide and eager international customers? What if we lend our marketing skills to women in the developing economies, use the Internet to extend their impact powerfully beyond their own borders – advantages we ourselves now consider the norm. No more style gatekeepers. Let the market speak!
I hope in these pages to bridge whatever gulf remains between the women I know – you all – and the women in Nakuru, Cusco, and other places we consider out-of-the-way. Maybe one day we’ll all go over there, check them out face to face.
As we go forward, let me know what you think!