I've crammed a lot of information and personal opinions for the past two weeks.. However the one and only thing I would love for you to take away from our newsroom, Is that you are powerful and so are your everyday activities.
By no means am I saying this is the only way to shop but I truly believe that a healthy balance is beneficial for consumers. If your driving to work this morning and you see that independently owned coffee shop, stop in! Know your five dollar cup of coffee is helping someone live out their dream! If your going to order a knitted hat for the fall season, why not order an Artisanal product.
I truly hope you enjoyed this series and that you take the time to share it with others. Because at the end of the day everyone has the power to help someone fulfill their dreams or better their lives.
Thavin & Marcob
Free Trade is a policy that allows governments to import or export products freely with each other. Meaning the government does not restrict imports or exports with certain countries. This is a very basic description of the policy. I do not pretend to know all the ins and outs of the policy nor am I advocating for the policy or against the policy. My goal here is to help you, the consumer realize the power you wield.
Free trade is not the same as Fair trade. Fair trade has requirements for both vendors and those creating the product. Free Trade does not follow the Fair trade guidelines.
Free trade allows corporations to run anyway they wish as long as they are within the country of organs laws. However that's probably more assumption than fact.
When you buy Free trade it is still possible to be helping someone live out there dream of being a business owner. Your purchase can still make a difference if you want it to.
here are a few places to start if you are thinking of taking advantage of Free Trade purchases.
1. Ask questions
Small business owners all over the world love connecting with their customers. So reach out and Connect with the owner.
2.If it doesn't feel right Walk away!
Their are deceptive people out there. If it doesn't feel right walk away, listen to your gut!
3.Use reputable sites
Always use reputable sites! I can not stress that enough. Etsy.com is a great way to connect with small business owners all over the world.
Even if you have ordered from a specific company before, read the reviews! You don't want to find out after your purchase that the product no longer meets high quality standards or that customer service has slipped to the wayside.
5.Only use safe ways to pay.
Don't just give your card number out. Make sure the site is secure or use PayPal which offers extra protections to its customers. You should never agree to wire money.
Shopping is suppose to be fun. Your ordering that special something for you or someone you love. Enjoy your purchase experience as well as your consumer power!
See you tomorrow!
I wrote an article last month that gave a pretty quick explanation of what Fair Trade means when its attached to a product sold within our boutique. Yet I did not cover exactly what your buying power means to the communities found around the world.
Remember your spending and your purchases create a chain of great effect. Any of your dollars spent on Fair Trade products allows several things to happen.
1. It Empowers Women
Fair trade allows women in developing countries to work together to create a product that in turn ends up on our site. We are not the only company that carries Fair Trade and by no means is Fair Trade just for women. Yet the women who do participate in the Fair Trade organization are creating an income for their families. They are growing more confident everyday and they are living out their dream.
Wow take a moment to think about that. Your dollar made a difference to someone across the ocean. Your spending matters and guess what you made a difference!
2. Villages Flourish
The Fair Trade Organization works hard to bring villages up from poverty. They help communities join together to create something magical. That in turn allows people to feel pride and to find economic stability. You contribute to that when you buy any product labeled Fair Trade!
3. Decent Working Conditions
In order to be considered Fair Trade working conditions have to meet a certain criteria. As a result, the people found within the communities are working in cleaner conditions and are being treated with respect. As well as being offered fair prices for their work.
Once again you have the power. Everyday anyone can make a difference. It dose not even require a ton of effort. Its easy, and honestly why wouldn't you want to.
This week we have been discussing the power we each hold as consumers.
Today we are going to chat about what your buying power means to Small Business Online or Local to your community! By supporting small business this is what your buying power can achieve.
1. American Dream
The American dream is to work for yourself, to create something from the bottom up. By buying from a small business, you are helping someone live out their dream! You are making their dream a reality! You know you want to so go ahead start shopping small
2.Small Business tend to buy from other small business
Do you see where this is going. Your support of someone's dream trickles down and guess what it supports another persons dream. Your power to make a difference is mighty powerful
3. Economic Innovation
Your buying power fuels the economic revelation that is consistently happing all around you. Your dollar just keeps giving.
By shopping small you are creating a gateway for new entrepreneurs with a sparkle in their eye to bring fresh ideas to the market. Which in turn gives you, the consumer more choices!
5.Start a trend
Your power is big! Start a trend!
Don't just shop small to support it. Social Media the crap out of it!
Word of mouth is still the biggest and the very best advertisement a small business owner can have. Start a trend. Love a business, share it, tweet it, Instagram it. Tell your friends and even strangers far and wide how much you love a business. This is not the time to be shy.
Most importantly Love every moment of it!
Allow it to be an experience not just a chore!
Thavin & Marcob
My husband and I were currently on a trip. Which had landed us in downtown Eugene. One night while out exploring in town. I found myself walking down Willamette St. Which is their customized label of the traditional Main St. The downtown scene there can be summed up as a group of people simply hanging out. With a mere scan anyone could tell that this downtown group had seen hard times. However if one were to just look at their smile, you would have been cleverly fooled. It's not only their smile that would cause you to believe that their happiness is incredibly genuine. but their laughter, and the glint of joy in their eyes when they talk. All point directly to signs of pure and blissful happiness. As my husband and I reach the point were we are just about to walk by. A women jumps up and exclaims, "Oh my god I love your shirt!" Now I don't care who you are. Everyone loves a complement, I being no different. All while being pleasantly surprised, I said thank you and began to continue on down the street. As my feet began to make the first steps towards the heart of downtown Eugene. I heard in a quite timid voice if I would be willing to trade her something for my shirt. At that point I cannot hide the smile that forms on my face. This woman who appears to have so little. Has buying power and definitely knows how to use it!
She may not use it in the traditional sense or by the typical definition of business leaders. Traditionally speaking consumer buying power is the disposable income we use to purchase goods or services throughout the day. You utilize it when you pick up a cup of coffee or a sandwich at the corner shop. The purchase by no means has to be a big purchase. Small ones make just as much of an impact as the larger ones do.
Over the years the balance of power has changed. No longer are we having companies tell us what we need or what we should think we need. Social media has allowed consumers to unify their voices. In turn creating a buyer bargaining power. That is where the consumer forces a company to complied in some way. Weather is forcing them to offer higher quality products, better customer service, or to lower prices. Everyone has the power to utilize their own buying power to make a difference. In any way you want to.
In downtown Eugene Oregon I used my $10.00 tank top to bring joy to a woman I knew for less then 60 seconds. I traded a hug for it, and really who can put a price on a hug!
Thavin & Marcob
Thavin & Marcob is a place where you are celebrated for being you!