With 2011 fast approaching, I have to reflect on the year gone by.
- In February, I closed Women's Work in Cold Spring after nearly four years in business in our former "hometown" it was a difficult decision to make.
- In July, I accepted an invitation to go to Pakistan for a buying trip. From that trip, I opened up another part of the world to WW, bringing beautiful Sterling Silver designs and the potential for hand embroidery and leather handbags from gifted designers.
- In August, I opened up a store in Sugar Loaf, NY where we were able to reach the Westchester/NJ market. Unfortunately, the long distance and my time constraints limit my efforts at that location and just over the holidays, we have decided to close that store.
- In September, I went to Guatemala for a New World Craft Expo where I met El Sol Maya owner who has a team of women weavers and artisans from remote regions. From that trip, we now carry fair trade items from Mayan Hands, UPAVIM, recycled acrylic sign jewelry, recycled pewter jewelry from Honduras, and recycled inner tube bags from El Salvador.
- From Guatemala, Goody Goodies now has a new line of fair trade friendship bracelets custom-made to say school names and slogans through Mayan Hands and El Sol Maya to benefit Safe Passage.
- My new association with AAUW as member and co-chair of the My Sister's Keeper Initiative helps with WW's mission to bring the plight of women around the world to the attention of women in the USA, not only for awareness-sake but in an effort to empower women and girls to make a difference. AAUW's MSK initiative gave me an opportunity to give a Fair Trade talk at their Professional Women's Group meeting, help to organize MSK Celebration at the Poughkeepsie Plaza and GG was graced with an induction into their MSK Hall of Fame.
- WW won recognition as "Best Boutique with Heart" from Hudson Valley Magazine
- We had articles in the Poughkeepsie Journal, HVBiz, Hudson Valley Business Journal and Goody Goodies was featured in USAToday!
- In December, we saw our Poughkeepsie Plaza sales double from last year, leading us to believe that our move to the Plaza was one of our single best business decisions to-date!
What does 2011 have in store? I'm not sure, but I am looking fore ward and looking forward to the possibilities.
I know I have insights into what makes me happy, what I've enjoyed working on and with whom I want to work.
In 2010, I have seen a huge jump in the level of confidence I have in the market, the products I carry, the loyalty of Women's Work supporters and thus, the competence I feel in continuing and continuing to grow the WW ideal.
While I never started WW in order to advocate Fair Trade, I see how I have defined FT and how ethically the ideal has defined me. Women's Work has become a platform for beautiful, well made, ethically and environmentally conscious products that are produced sustainably. I have grown to not only believe that all products should be made this way, but also to believe each person has an obligation to strive to live this way, to the best of their ability.
And so, in 2011, my presence will be all about hope - not a campaign slogan, not a flippant holiday greeting, but a genuine embodiment of positive living.
To paraphrase Paulo Coelho, "From the Greek - In Pandora's Box, Hope was the only thing that remained, because it was the only thing one could use to combat the misfortune that was scattered throughout the world."