Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fair Trade Fair::Success!

When we decided to host the Fair Trade Fair, we had no idea what to expect.  Maybe three people will come.  Who knows!  It's kind of exciting when your expectations are blown right out of the water.  I think it's safe to say we were overwhelmed by how supportive our community, friends, and church have been of this whole "shopping with purpose" idea.  Our venue was incredible.  Greta, the owner of The Frame Gallery in downtown Bryan allowed us to crash her place for two days straight.  It was fun hanging out with her all weekend.  We sold items from The Batik Boutique, Come Together Trading, Serrv, Global Mamas, and The Apparent Project.

There were moments when the place was packed.  It was borderline crazy.  Who knew people would be so excited about fairly made products.  I was hoping a shopping fight would break out, but alas - people remained mostly civil.

It was a lot of fun seeing old friends and meeting new ones.  We had the best volunteers.  They were all extremely helpful and made the weekend feel like a long party.

And then there is Lisa.  This is what it looks like to gorge yourself on fair trade products.  I think this should be her Halloween costume next year.

The best part of this story?  We sold almost $10,000 worth of fair trade products during the Fair Trade Fair.  It was indeed a celebration of creativity, art, skill, and empowerment for people around the world who are working hard to break the cycle of poverty for their families.  This is what a hand-up instead of a hand-out looks like.  It was the perfect way to start the holiday season.

Long-live the Fair Trade Fair!  And long live justice, peace, and goodwill towards all men (and women) this Christmas!

If you see something you like in these photos or the photos here or here, let me know.  I'll tell you where you can order them.



Danielle said...

I'm interested in doing something like this in Ohio. Can you post some tips about how to go about doing it? Do you work with the different orgs to get shipments of their products ahead of time and then ship back the unsold goods?

Hendrick Family said...

Yes, Danielle.

All of the organizations we contacted (minus Global Mamas) allowed us to order items at zero risk to us. Those companies are: Serrv, Apparent Project, Come Together Trading, and Batik Boutique.

What didn't sell, we could return.

The only exception: The food. (coffee, chocolate, olive oil) So, the food was the only thing we had to be careful about when ordering. Thankfully we completely sold out of the food the first day!

Serrv even allows you to pay 10% less for the products you purchase from them in order to cover shipping costs, advertising fees, etc. - so that was nice.


Bob & Judy said...

So proud of women who see a need and set about to help!

Anonymous said...

Heather.... when you first posted about thr fair trade fair you posted a picture with an over the shoulder purse/bag.... when i wrnt to thr website it wasnt there... any thoughts on where me and that bag can hook up? ;)

Hendrick Family said...

I can think of two you might be talking about. Both are made by Global Mamas.

There's this one:

And I'm looking for the other.


stephanie said...

Thank you for looking Heather!! I tried to back through your recent posts, but i couldn't find it back. I remember (besides that it was love at first sight) that it was the first pic in your post, and it looked big enough to hold a couple books. I think it was a neutralish color :) you're the best thanks for checking! Ps baby jesus pepperoni made me pee my pants!

Stephanie :)

Cami Franklin said...

So AWESOME!!!!! So excited you had such a great turn out!

Patti said...

These are big things you are doing in your new pond. Ripples that turn into waves.

Anonymous said...

Do you have any tips on how much quantity to order, or do the organizations help with that? I have a goal now to do this at my church next year! Thanks for inspiring me!! I am glad this turned out so well for you and your community!

Hendrick Family said...

Yes! I'm glad you're considering hosting one of these events!

Most of the companies did help with figuring out how much product to order.

One thing Juliette did before the fair trade fair that I thought was genius -

She took around the catalog from Serrv (it's big and beautiful with lots of photos) and asked our friends what they would actually buy out of the catalog.

This was really helpful for us as we decided what products to order from Serrv and which products to order from other companies.

We also tried not to have competing items from different vendors. For example - ONE place with necklaces, earrings, etc. One vendor with purses. One with scarves.

That way, we could have a large assortment of items and not have the fair trade organizations competing against one another.

Hope that was helpful!

I hope you have a fair at your church. If you do - keep me posted!


mandi said...

woo-hoo! awesome news!!!

Christine said...

I'd love to do this next year as well. I love the tips you've given in these comments. Any chance you'd do a blog entry on tips for planning one of these events? When to start, how far ahead and how to advertise, etc. I did an apparent project party tonight at my home from reading about it on your blog. Women LOVED it, and would love to see more of these types of products. Thanks for any more helpful hints!