Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Power of Encouragement

"I got my bag and I love it! Those women
are so talented. My support is forever.
- Cheryl from Florida, USA

You know, it's tremendous the effect that encouragement can have on an individual. Just think about it... has there been a monumental person in your life who is always cheering for you, someone you can count on to lift you up when you need it? It can transform an entire workplace when the employees are motivated by belief in their abilities to succeed rather than fear of making a mistake.

We want this to be true now more than ever with our hard-working ladies here in Uganda. They need encouragement just as much as the next individual. Recently, we decided to jot a customer's awesome review on the ladies' chalkboard to see if it could be a motivating factor.

We couldn't believe the response; because they're so far away from the US and our customers, they hadn't even heard a real specific review of their products. The women burst into a choir of cheers and claps, as if someone had just won the lottery. Seeing sincere smiles and laughs on the faces of our ladies is one of my favorite joys of working at One Mango Tree. It makes it all real, acknowledging the beauty of the human emotion and living life with them.

In a culture that has experienced so much oppression and discouragement, these small acts of love on behalf of our customers create sweet, sweet moments. If you have a comment or review you'd like to share with our ladies, simply leave your comment here! We promise we'll share it with them!

xo lauranne

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ohio Fair Trade Retrospective

I had a great time kicking off Fair Trade Month in Ohio! I was lucky enough to be part of a group interview on NPR talking about Fair Trade in Northeast Ohio - a pretty controversial topic in this part of the country, as the inevitable question arises - is buying fair trade a luxury most people cannot afford? Some callers raised some great questions - listen to me, Jacqueline DeCarlo (author, Fair Trade: Beginner's Guide), Lisa Dunn (of Revive) and Julie Verdon (of Ten Thousand Villages) talk about fair trade's role and importance in light of tough economic times in the United States.

Before the weekend, I took a quick trip out to Revive's original store in Cleveland Heights and picked up a sweet pair of Indigenous gloves to brave the Ohio climate.

On Saturday, October 9, my Mom (and our awesome Business Manager) headed out to John Carroll University for the Ohio Fair Trade Expo.

Staffing the One Mango Tree booth at Ohio Fair Trade Expo Marketplace!
I'm wearing our dolman sleeve top in cherry and our NEW hand-loomed scarf in eggplant.

Everyone loved the promotional tote bags we donated to the event - more than 200 people running around showing off One Mango Tree's beautiful work! They were a hit!

I loved participating in panels - here I am with Alia Kate, founder of Kantara Crafts during Faces of Fair Trade. I also participated in a panel focusing on the Environment, where I spoke about the challenges and rewards of sourcing organic cotton fabric for our products.

I hope you're enjoying Fair Trade Month! Remember, Every Purchase Matters!

xo ~ Halle

Friday, October 22, 2010

Our October GIVEAWAY!

Friends, we've got some exciting news for you. We have a new giveaway up our sleeves in celebration of Fair Trade Month!

We want to make sure you have the opportunity to win our *brand new* fair-trade BETTY CLUTCH! You'll be one of the first to own it. It's a beautiful, sweet and sturdy clutch intricately handwoven from local banana leaves here in northern Uganda. We've been drooling over it since it arrived and we can't wait to see who will receive it! All you have to do is:

(1) Mention and link this giveaway on your blog, your Twitter, or your Facebook page (and be sure to include @OneMangoTree)!
When you've done this, simply comment below to let us know!

This giveaway will end on November 1st at 10:00am. You're not limited to entries, just spread the love and let us know about it! Winner will be selected at random. Shipping is on us, packaged with love and care, sent complimentary to your doorstep!

Spread the love and we'll announce the winner here on our blog and twitter!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Employee of the Month

We just began a sweet new monthly recognition program: One Mango Tree's Employee of the Month! The recipient is someone who's shown outstanding character, who's helped co-workers, who's gone above and beyond to bring unity and quality to One Mango Tree. Each month, they'll recieve an official certificate and 10,000 shillings as a bonus to use however they like. We're pretty excited about it!

This past September, our beloved Akwero Eunice (recognize her from our Fall 2010 photoshoot?) was chosen as our first recipient. She has a contagious joy about her and a willingness to make sure the impossible becomes possible. She comes in early, leaves late, is always laughing and joking with those around her, and even volunteered to help model for us in her spare time. She chose to re-invest her 10,000 shillings in the One Mango Tree Village Savings & Loans Association! Talk about a kick-butt woman.

To be honest, these will be quite difficult. We have so many terrific ladies that are consistently doing incredible work personally and professionally, that I can't even predict who will be chosen for October.

Stay tuned and we'll announce who the ladies have chosen in early October!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

From the Workshop: Photo

Today, the ladies had a really sweet opportunity to be photographed. We can't spill the beans just yet but we'll definitely share more later.

For the shoot, they were to wear traditional Acholi-wear like this kikoyo wrapped with an iridescent band around the waste to accentuate the hips. This is what many women wear to weddings, celebrations, parties, and all sorts of community gatherings. With so much modern technology and culture making it's way across gulu, it was humbling and exciting to see our ladies tap into their own personal roots...

More updates coming soon!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Message from Earth: Organic Matters

Check out this brilliant digital short put together for Farm Aid 25 on October 2. Does organic matter to you? It certainly matters to us.

We'd love to hear why you buy organic, or why you don't. Start the conversation!


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