Three Delectable CWOW PRODUCTs

Submitted by Chelsea Thompson,  Guest Blogger & CWOW Storyteller

Here at Creative Women of the World, we partner with fair trade organizations so we can enjoy a variety of food products ranging from chocolates and cookie mixes to soups and herbal teas. Highlighted today, Singing Rooster Vienna Coffee, Level Ground Golden Berries, and Equal Exchange Orange Infused 65% Dark Chocolate are a perfect combination for your taste buds this summer. We brewed a little bit of our well-loved coffee, broke off a piece of the orange infused dark chocolate, and selected a tart golden berry or two for a wonderful flavor experience that can be compared to no other.

 Equal Exchange 65% Cacao - Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

Equal Exchange 65% Cacao - Organic Orange Dark Chocolate

"First Peruvian cooperative to sell Fair Trade certified organic cocoa."

Farmed in Peru and certified in Switzerland, Equal Exchange Orange Infused 65% Dark Chocolate will send you to the moon with its smooth texture and alluring orange flavor. In 1980, Peru's Ayachucho Province was directly hurt by drug trafficking and violence. However, in 2003, this inspiring co-op was able to stand on its feet again as the first Peruvian cooperative to sell Fair Trade certified organic cocoa. One hundred and fifteen farmer communities strong, the CACVRA co-op now even has its own vehicles to carry cocoa beans to central fermentation centers.  After final production, they are shipped to us so we can get them to you to enjoy.

 

Promoting social justice, reforestation and overall empowerment" 

 Singing Rooster - Vienna Blend Coffee

Singing Rooster - Vienna Blend Coffee

Fairly traded, 100% Arabica Singing Rooster Vienna Coffee is absolutely a staple here at Creative Women of the World. People come from all over the region to take home a bag of tasty, Haitian Singing Rooster. Promoting social justice, reforestation and overall empowerment, Singing Rooster is surely making a global impact. Roughly over 200,000 trees have been planted and over $1million put into farmers’ pockets, as they redefine the coffee trade and market. “Farmers are paid a minimum of $3 per pound for crops.” Brewed as a pour-over, the Vienna blend’s aroma instantly entices even the choosiest of coffee connoisseurs. With each sip, we discovered an earthy, medium-bodied coffee with subtle citrus after-notes.

“We shake the hands that farm the land.”

 Level Ground - Golden Berry Dried Organic Fruit

Level Ground - Golden Berry Dried Organic Fruit

Level Ground Trading Dried Organic Fruit is new to Creative Women of the World. Dried golden berries certainly add a zing to your day with their raisin-like texture and tart taste.  A total of sixteen organic farmers work together to create best farming practices and to share knowledge on farming the golden berries. "We shake the hands that farm the land." Employing many women to harvest, sort, and remove the leaves from the berries provides them with a stable income. As members of the Fair Trade Federation, Level Ground promises to support farmers and artisans facing hardships in developing countries.

We proudly partner with each of these companies to promote good practices for good tastes.

Visit https://bit.ly/1v9iBtz for a list and description of Fair Trade principles.

 

Triple Your Impact through AmazonSmile

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So you’re making an impact by supporting Creative Women of the World? That is wonderful and we thank you.

But what if that impact could be amplified?

Right now, through March 31st, when you order through AmazonSmile, your gift to Creative Women of the World will be tripled! And the best part? Ordering through Amazon Smile will cost nothing extra and is the same shopping experience as Amazon.com!

Let me say that again—Amazon is tripling your impact on your first purchase through smile.amazon.com/ch/45-2455187!!

AmazonSmile was established in 2012 to allow buyers to donate .5% of their eligible purchases to a charity of their choice. This goodwill effort showed that Amazon, the booming ecommerce titan, does, in fact, have a generous spirit.

This is a game-changing opportunity for Creative Women of the World supporters and the Creative Women of the World  organization.

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Tell your friends and family to simply jump onto Amazon and select Creative Women of the World as their chosen charity. Amazon will then donate 1.5% on all eligible purchases to Creative Women of the World! If you aren't sure how to select an establishment for your Amazon smile account, check out their how-to here

Creative Women of the World’s Executive Director, Lorelei Verlee, believes that in order to impact the world, we must “equip women with entrepreneurial resources to develop sustainable businesses through the power of their own creativity.”

Our mission strives to empower women and girls not only in developing countries, but also in thriving countries. If we can adapt our online shopping just a smidge, we can triple our impact, and give light and hope towards more women around the globe that may be in darkness.

We here at Creative Women of the World challenge you to make a purchase through smile.amazon.com through March 31st, and to invite a friend, family member, loved one, or stranger to do the same.

Together we CAN prevail over difficult economic environments in developing countries, and have fun doing so.

LILY'S STORY

Lily's Story

Submitted by Kara Hackett, Guest Blogger

One of our greatest pleasures at CWOW is watching the women we work with take charge of their goals and accomplish what they set out to do.

When Maria “Lily” Lourdes attended our business training workshop back in May 2016 in Honduras, she told us she was saving money for her wedding. She and her boyfriend, Junior, have a son together named Jeremy, and they were excited to be a family.

You might not know Lily by name, but you’ve probably seen her work in our shop. She’s one of our talented pop tab artists, who works with Moda Esperanza to create jewelry and accessories using recycled tin tabs.

When we buy products from companies like Moda Esperanza to sell in our shop, we pay the artisans for their work up front, so they can make progress faster. Then we take the risk of selling what we buy, and the profits we make are used to train more women and support their businesses, so the cycle continues.

This year, about one year after we met Lily, we received the good news that she met her goal and saved up enough money for a beautiful wedding. We’re so proud of her and honored to be part of her story.  She sent us these lovely pictures so that we could all share in her special day.

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  CONGRATULATIONS    LILY & JUNIOR

CONGRATULATIONS

LILY & JUNIOR

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Lily says her next goal is getting a university education.

Thank you to all of our generous donors and sponsors who are changing the lives of women around the world and right here in our community. Lily's story is one of many ways you are making dreams come true.

 

WORKING WITH WOMEN: WHY IT MATTERS

Manish Gupta is founder of Matr Boomie, one of the artisan groups where we purchase beautiful handmade pieces.  Lorelei went with him to India a couple years ago and was really impressed with the nonprofit his sister started there.  Matr Boomie's partner, SETU works directly with the artisans to make sure they receive living wages and have safe work environments. They even provide life necessities as they see the need.  Matr Boomie is one reason why we can provide you with great quality products and know your purchase does good!

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EMPOWER CWOW IN HAITI

Thirty pairs of wide feminine eyes watched and listened with hope and expectation at our first fledgling design and business trainings back in March, 2007, in Mizak, Haiti.  The women had proven their embroidery skills but they had a dream to grow a greeting card company that featured their beautiful handwork and would sell to customers across the United States.  Today, they not only have beautiful cards selling but have developed a line of many more handmade products that customers all over the US have enjoyed. 

Now they have asked Nicole Moore and me to get them ready for the next step with more targeted business training and for help on a super large order they are preparing. We will be leaving  August 16 to work with them.  But we can only do it when you support us through your boutique purchases and personal contributions.  Thank you for contributing online or at the shop.

I’m excited to return since I haven’t been there since the two trips I took after the major earthquake in 2010.  I can’t wait to see Francoise, Enithe, Nicole and Yolande and all the other artisans who have worked so hard on developing not only their businesses but also have supported tremendous transformation in their communities.  You are the reason their lives are changing!  Thank you!

 

 


Sseko Sandal Soiree OVERVIEW

 On Saturday, June 20th, Creative Women of the World held its Sseko Soiree event, highlighting Sseko Designs ribbon sandals. I personally love Sseko and what it stands for. I first learned about this company in depth this past semester at my university. Ssekos founder, Liz Forkin Bohannon, was at Taylor University for its Social Justice Week, and she spoke in one of my classes. She told us all about her company and its mission.

Sseko Designs is a company that employs women in Uganda. Their focus is to provide jobs for women who have tested into university but who do not have the necessary funds to attend. The women work during their gap year, and the jobs provide them with enough money to continue their education. Part of their income is automatically set aside in a fund, and at the end of their gap year Sseko matches their savings to ensure that they have enough money to pay for their education. Without Sseko, most of these women would not be able to continue their education because they wouldnt have enough money to do so, which is heartbreaking because many of them are the brightest students in their communities. However, there simply are not enough jobs available to pay for university, especially when they are competing with men for those jobs. This is why Sseko was started: to empower women by providing them with a sustainable way to further their education and provide for themselves.

One of the things I appreciate about Sseko is that it is a for-profit business with a social mission. This might seem like a red flag to some when it comes to social issues, but there are things that for-profits can do that other organizations cannot. Obviously non-profits and NGOs play an important role in development and poverty alleviation, but Sseko has decided to take a different approach by focusing on needs that social companies are better able to meet. As a for-profit business, they have been forced to become an efficient and sustainable company with a focus on the underlying problem of job scarcity. Sseko is not a charity; rather, it is filling a market need while providing much needed jobs in Uganda for women. In fact, Sseko is now the second largest employer of women in Uganda! How cool is that?

Because of all of these things, we are so happy to be carrying Sseko at CWOW, and we were so excited for this event. As the women arrived, we had them choose a pair of ribbons for their base sandals. Then we began the event by explaining some of Ssekos history while eating some delicious snacks that Nicole made.


Next is when the fun began. We taught them around five different ways to tie their sandals. There are so many different and fun ways to tie these sandals that it can seem overwhelming at first. Some of the styles look really difficult and intimidating, so we wanted to make sure that these ladies left our event knowing how easy it really is to change up their Ssekos. For our inspiration, we used some of the videos on Sseko's website that show how to tie them. However, it was really neat to watch the ladies at our event make up their own ways of tying their sandals (some of which may or may not have been accidental). They were so creative!

We also showed them how to make their own ribbons and fun ways to accessorize their sandals. We used beads and buttons and old earrings and anything we could think of to spice up our sandals. We talked and laughed and shared and had a great time. Overall, it ended up being a fun and successful event!

We finished up by making cards for the ladies in Uganda who make the sandals. We wanted them to know that we appreciate what theyre doing and that we adore their product. We wanted to acknowledge them and their excellent work, even if it was simply through a card from one woman to another.

Sseko Designs is a fantastic company, and we are so excited to have the opportunity to carry this ethical fashion line here at CWOW. They are doing great things in development and for the empowerment of women, and we are proud to be a small part of spreading the news about them and their mission. And of course, the cute shoes dont hurt either.


[This is a guest post written by our summer intern, Laura Liechty. Laura is majoring in Developmental Economics/Systems at Taylor University.]


When can you participate in ethical fashion?

Start now! Now is the time to start participating in ethical fashion. But specifically, on July 17th, we are having an event that revolves all around ethical fashion. On that day from 4-7 PM we are featuring three different artisans/companies that we are selling in the store. We are partnering with Blue Jacket for this event.  So, we invite customers to bring in an item of gently used clothing, or housewares donation for the Blue Jacket Organization, and in turn, for their donation customers will get a coupon to use toward a purchase! 

We are adding fair trade company Zand Amsterdam to the CWOW inventory with their Zand Wrap Skirts. The 4-sided wrap skirt is created with playful combinations of colorful fabrics which are eye-catching and fun. A Zand representative will be bringing the entire collection and after the trunk show, there will only be select styles available at CWOW. So come to the event and get exclusive access to all the different kinds of skirts. 

A representative from Loving Shepherd Ministries will also be attending and will be bringing their new line of handbags from Ethiopia. LSM’s goal is to help the world’s vulnerable children reach their highest potential. They combat exploitation through prevention, providing help to leave the streets, counseling, and training that will offer women dignified sustainability. The handbags they are bringing are classic, functional, and help women across the world.    

We will also be featuring one of our LOTUS artisans. Sandy Hall will be there showing off her new designs. We carry her recycled plastic jewelry, fun art bracelets, and cube earrings in the store now and she will have some new designs/products she has been working on to present!  

So come out to the event filled with exclusive deals, amazing people and companies, all while helping out a local organization and women around the globe.

You don’t want to miss this! Come to CWOW on July 17th at 4:00 PM and get ready to jumpstart your commitment to ethical fashion. Check out the event page for more information!

who supports ethical fashion?

There are lots of fair trade companies all over the world, but at CWOW we carry Mata Traders and Global Mama’s as our main providers of the clothing we sell. 

Mata Traders’ products are original designs handmade in India and Nepal by women’s cooperatives and artisan groups. Their producers are paid a livable wage in safe and fair conditions, and do their work at home and in small workshops rather than factories.  Services like on-site day-care, medical check-ups, and over-time pay are also offered. Their products, especially their dresses display the unique designs and patterns. Most are hand block printed with eco-friendly vegetable dyes.

 Photo from our Empower Her World Event 2015, taken by  Galliher Studio .

Photo from our Empower Her World Event 2015, taken by Galliher Studio.


We also carry Global Mamas’ clothing, mostly their children’s clothing and some different kinds of skirts. Founded in 2003, their moto has always been, “Love your product. Know your producer. Change her life.” They achieve prosperity by creating and selling unique, handcrafted products of the highest quality. Their Mamas realize their dreams of having the opportunity to support their families, send their children to school, improve their health, and save for the future. 

  Photo from our Empower Her World Event 2015, taken by   Galliher Studio  .

Photo from our Empower Her World Event 2015, taken by Galliher Studio.

Why wouldn’t you want to buy fair trade from CWOW knowing we work with some fantastic companies that share the same love and passion for empowerment and making the world a better place?  

Stay tuned for next week when we explore WHEN? Along with the announcement of our July event!