If you hang around CWOW long enough you will probably hear our staff put their hands together like a team ready to charge the field and shout “Goooooo C-WOW!” We aren’t just a bunch of women selling products at a cool boutique in downtown Fort Wayne. We are a passionate team collaborating on a mission to bring access and choice to women who have had little hope of ever getting out of poverty. Each one of us has a unique and important role and it IS working! From direct artisan business training and product development to product shipping and merchandising, each one of our team members serve to connect you to our beautiful women and their phenomenal stories.
If 2013 was the year of teamwork, 2014 will be the year of travel! In the next year, we have been invited to visit a variety of countries to raise awareness about the need to empower women as well as meet new artisans with whom we can begin our business training. We’ll keep you updated on travels, new countries, and an abundance of stories both here and on our website. But what exactly is “business training?” Here at CWOW, we believe in teaching women not only how to fish, but how the fishing industry works, allowing them to maximize their own creativity and ingenuity to find unique business opportunities that we would never have found. We start by asking women we meet some of the following questions: Do you understand who your market is and what your potential share is in that market? Do you know how to calculate your costing and pricing when developing new products? Do you know how to estimate your sales so you can protect yourself during times of leaner sales?
As we discuss the answers to those questions, we must cross many cultural barriers on each end of our relationship. Fortunately the women we work with have been gracious with us as we learn how to serve them better. Jen Foster has been working with the Mwangatu ladies in Kenya, where Nicole and I also have visits scheduled in the months to come to facilitate process and product refinement. Hope plans to do marketing training in Haiti this spring and Hope, Nicole and I are all visiting our artisan groups in India in March. To meet the very evident need and give women the training and skills that they crave, we are seeking donations for our CWOW development fund, money that will be used to give women opportunities that they never could have imagined (all donations are tax deductible). If you choose to make a donation, we thank you! And we want to thank all of our supporters for your time, money, and help in making CWOW a success. Thank you for making it possible for women to work their way out of poverty and sparing them from remaining vulnerable to human trafficking. You DO MAKE a DIFFERENCE!