That’s a bold statement, right? But it’s true. In my own way, I am changing the world with every thought, word, and action. You’re a world changer too.
It occurs to me that I’ve not shared anything about my job since I hesitantly began this blog last year. It’s time to change that! What I do might not seem like much, but it is important and it’s helped shape many of my consumer decisions over the past ten months.
I’m a Compassionate Entrepreneur with Trades of Hope. In basic terms, I’m a consultant for a Direct Sales business. But it’s a DS business with a twist. Each Compassionate Entrepreneur is committed to selling handcrafted, Fair Trade fashion accessories and home decor, and empowering the women who make these products. When we hit sales goals, we don’t get fancy cars or to go on fun cruises. Instead, Trades of Hope gifts, on our behalf, things like clean water, fruit trees, bicycles and school uniforms. Did you know that in some countries, education isn’t free? If you can’t afford the school fees and the uniform costs, you can’t send your child to school. We are committed to breaking the cycle of poverty in places such as India, Haiti, Peru, and Cambodia.
Trades of Hope has also taught me to think about the people behind the things I buy. What kind of working environment do they have? Are they paid a fair wage? How many hours do they work? Do they have a safe working environment? The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City happened over a century ago, but there are still people working all over the world in conditions similar to those that led to that tragedy TODAY. Fair Trade seeks to change that. And Trades of Hope is a member of the Fair Trade Federation, which means all our artisan groups must meet certain standards.
Over the coming weeks, I plan on sharing stories about some of the women who make the products I sell. My aim isn’t to guilt you into ordering anything from me (although every order does give them more work and, therefore, more of an income). Instead, I hope you see them as fellow travelers on this journey we call life. Like you and me, they have hopes and dreams and have experienced crushing realities. We’re thousands of miles apart, but we’re closer than you might think.
And, going back to what I said about you being a world changer? Think on this: with every smile, and positive word or action, you are changing the world for the better. And that, doesn’t cost a cent.