Sunday, September 13, 2009

Potential ain't Capacity!

By Marita Greenidge

I watched a live stream from my church Faith Temple today. How's that for embracing technology? I love how this church uses direct marketing and technology to build relationships with its congregation. It makes me smile as a marketer.

As usual the message was powerful and uplifting.

A section of the sermon stood out for me. The pastor, Steve Edlin, said sometimes we give people keys to vehicles before they have the capacity to drive. Well he didn't quite say it like that but that was the overall metaphor.

And the meaning? Sometimes people have the potential to undertake a task but do not currently have the capacity to handle that task. Maybe they are not in the right state of mind; maybe they haven't learnt all they need to know to do a great job.

Just because someone has potential, doesn't mean they are ready for the job!

This can be extended to many parts of our life. You may have the potential to run a marathon but 3 months before the race you might not have the capacity. It requires training. You may have the potential to be a great wife or husband but you're still trying to figure out who you are and what you want to do in life. Requires a little soul searching. You may have the capacity to be a great entrepreneur but you don't understand accounting, marketing or business planning. Requires a little skill-building.

Potential ain't capacity and you have to build your capacity before you can unleash your true potential.

Have an awesome week everyone!


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fair Trade Fashion shoot!

By Marita L. Greenidge

A few months ago I got the bright idea that showing how great our products looked when paired with the right outfit, was a fabulous idea. Below are two pictures from that day. It looks like I've done a good job of passing myself off as a decent make-up artist.

My friend Duan gets to be on the receiving end of this bright idea. My other friend Mai, appears to be chilling out. Little did she know that she was next! Just kiddin', Mai did her own make-up that day. Maybe I didn't do as great a job convincing everyone my make-up skills were great.

Look out for more pictures from our shoot!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Entrepreneurs Tackling Africa's Problems

By Marita Greenidge

Check out the New York Times' blog Freakonomics for a great post on what some people are doing to further development in Africa. Click here. A few tidbits:
  • Using entrepreneurship
  • Using venture capital for technology development
  • Helping those affected by HIV/AIDS
Why rely on aid if you can find innovative ways to help your country?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fair Trade Labor Day Sale on Recycled Bags

It's Labor Day today and we're celebrating by offering you 15% off our PILAR totes.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Slavery? Today?

By Rebecca and Glenn Fadner

Slavery ended in 1863 when Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, right? Guess again! Slavery is "alive and well" throughout the modern world!! Oh, it's illegal in over 80% of the countries, but it still exists. In fact, estimates range from as "low" as 4 million to as high as 27 million people enslaved, with the US State Department settling on around 12 million. Contrast that with an estimated 4 million slaves in the US immediately before the Civil War.

Trafficking in human beings is "tied for second" (with illegal arms) as the second largest criminal activity in the world (after the drug trade). And if you think it only happens "over there", think again! The US is both a destination and an origination point for victims of trafficking.

Because combating the trauma of those rescued out of trafficking is central to the mission of our supplier STOPStart, we are taking the opportunity to become more informed about the scourge of human trafficking and how to combat it. We will be attending the first Global Forum on Human Trafficking in Carlsbad, CA on October 8-9.

We'll have more to share from what we've learned, but we want to encourage YOU to become more informed as well. Here are several resources to assist you:

  • "Not For Sale" - David Batstone A look at examples of human trafficking worldwide AND how a number of organizations are working to combat it.

We encourage you to become informed and involved!


Friday, September 4, 2009

Product of the Month - Sea Glass Jewellry

By Rebecca Fadner

Searching for that piece of jewelry that is fun, colorful, reasonably-priced, eco-friendly, unique AND has a socially-relevant back-story? That's a tall order, but we have an answer for you! Sea glass jewelry from Honduras!

Our artisan Maria combs the Caribbean shoreline seeking bits of colorful glass that the surf washes up on the Honduran beaches. With an artistic vision for each piece, she polishes the glass and fashions each piece into vibrantly-colored dragonfly and Celtic cross necklaces as well as stunning matching necklace & earring sets. In each case the delicate necklace chain completes the image!

The sea glass is available in a number of colors, but as is the case with all recycled products, Maria must creatively work with those "raw" materials that the ocean provides!

Click here to view more of our beautiful sea glass jewelry!!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Big Decisions, Big Developments & Big Balloons!

By Glenn Fadner

Gershwin wrote, "Summertime, and the livin' is easy..."

The month of August has had a "slower" pace for us if you measure it in miles travelled. This month we've only done one "show" and it was close to home. It has nevertheless been an extremely eventful month for KVI.

Probably the most significant event for us was Hagar International's decision to "spin off" Hagar On-Time! (H-OT!), their textile business that manufactures all of our Hagar Design products.

I'm not going to go into all the details here because it will make this too lengthy. You can click this link to get all those details. The condensed version is that in order to conserve finances for their social programs, Hagar International sold H-OT! to a group of like-minded Australians who will operate it under the name STOPStart. Look for our products to begin carrying the STOPStart logo in the near future.

Hagar's decision and the "challenging" economic climate provoked us at Kingdom Ventures to examine our own business model. The picture that I got as I reflected over the past four years was that when we first started out, it was somewhat like duck-hunting - we used a shotgun with scatter-shot which is bound to hit SOMETHING if you sent it into a flock of ducks. That technique worked well in bringing us to where we are, but it won't take us any further. We need to be thinking much more strategically if we're going to grow KVI. It's going to take a "rifle" rather than a "shotgun".

So with several big gulps, we took the steps of applying to exhibit at two more trade shows: Another one in Boston in September and (BIG gulp) one in San Francisco in February. The costs involved are scary. However, it does give us opportunity to be in front of more people who understand and promote Fair Trade.

Finally, we just made the decision to attend the Global Forum on Human Trafficking being held in California in early October. In addition to the opportunity to become better equipped to speak to issues around human trafficking, we will be able to meet face-to-face with the new Executive Director of STOPStart, who will also be in attendance.

Yes, August has been a significant month ~ one filled with change, flexibility, adaptations and preparing for growth. Now it's off to the Festival of Balloons in Dansville, NY this weekend. If you are anywhere in Central New York, stop by and say hello! It's a GREAT time with terrific weather and a view of those balloons in flight that truly IS out-of-this-world!