Sunday, July 9, 2017

What I've Learned about Fair Trade Colleagues

I know this is rather random. I wanted to make a public call-out to Fair Trade Federation and explain why I have such a warm and fuzzy feeling about my fair trade colleagues who are members and support this fine trade organization. Dunitz & Company has been designing, importing and selling fair trade jewelry since the early 90s.  We were screened for membership and joined FTF several years ago. What I have experienced from my FTF compatriots is a deep spirit of cooperation, helpfulness and transparency. I have never consistently found these traits in any other community of people.  The business climate (for retail and wholesale selling) continually becomes more and more difficult. Even with the increased challenges of surviving market conditions, I find my FTF colleagues consistently open and supportive. We do have a broadcast email system where members actively ask and answer questions and provide advice. I find even if you don't know members personally, by being part of the group, there are always those willing to help others.  In other cases, I've had many conversations one-on-one with FTF colleagues to pow-wow on issues of the day.  In just about any other community, people tend to be competitive 100% of the time and quite self-centered. I actually think many of us FTFers survive better because we are sharing ideas and being supportive. Ours is an amazing community.

Clearly the marketplace is a competitive one.  Many business freely use the words "ethical", "sustainable" and "fair trade." I've come to learn that these are 'buzz words' that many companies use only to drive traffic to their operations. For the most part, I've learned that FTF members ARE a unique breed and practice what they preach.

Recently a few now friends (who are also FTF members) and I brainstormed how we might help each other out with our Instagram accounts.  Many of us have found it challenging to drive traffic to our social media accounts.  In the spirit of cooperation, a few of us decided to run a joint giveaway contest together. Our contest will run in a few days for a few days. This contest is not sanctioned by Instagram or Fair Trade Federation. It's just a contest a few friends masterminded.  It just happens that we're all like-minded fair traders and we met through FTF. Lucky us. Stay tuned for Dunitz & Company, Malia Designs, Mata Traders and Kahiniwalla ---> and on IG at @shopdunitz  @maliadesignsfairtrade  @matatraders  @kahiniwalla *! The value of the giveaway is over $200 and yes, includes fair trade jewelry among other goodies. (I want to send a special thank you to Mata Traders. They have an IG following much larger than the rest of us. That they are collaborating with us exemplifies just how magnanimous they are.) Will you be watching us on Instagram so you can enter to win? -ND