Well, I have been adding items galore to my Folksy shop. This is now becoming my full-time hobby, it seems. And, after buying a hoard of fair trade, ethical beads from women co-operatives in Ghana and Uganda, and making new pieces yesterday, I’m feeling very hopeful that I may get my first sale.
The beads I have bought are all made from either recycled paper, glass or vinyl, and all come from small businesses in Ghana and Uganda, with opportunities for the craftspeople to make their own living. The sale of these beads provides a wealth of opportunity to people living in very difficult, and often dangerous, situations.
For example, the Ugandan Acholi beads I bought, made by the Acholi women using recycled and rolled paper are supporting 22 women out of extreme poverty. After having to flee villages in Northern Ugandan, the women resettled in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, where the only work can so easily be in a stone quarry, crushing rocks for 30 pence for a full hot, dangerous, dusty and unhealthy day’s work. With even children working in these jobs, school tends to be a distant dream. However, in producing these Acholi beads, the women in this co-operative can produce the equivalent of two days wages crushing stone in just two hours. An obvious opportunity for better health and opportunity right there.
What’s more, I’ve decided that I’m going to start donating 10% from all sales through Sophie Kingo Handmade Gifts and Jewellery to a Ghanaian charity. I’m yet to find which I would like to help, but I’m keen to be able to provide some of my takings to some social good. Put that down to my day job as researcher on YF’s CLG funded supporting local social enterprises project, and my trip to the oh so beautiful Ghana last year. So, if you are in want of any gifts or jewellery, then please do visit my online shop. And if you can’t find anything exactly as you like it, then drop me a line. I take reasonable requests. Oh, and if you have any examples of potential Ghana charities I can help (preferably with a focus on crafts as a means to address social issues) then please do drop me a line.
And here are some of my new items to whet your appetite: