Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wanted: Sherlock Holmes for Fair Trade Mystery!

With all of the great blessings bestowed on our little business recently, there was bound to be some tough luck. We were poised and ready for the worst. But, after breaking the news to our fearless leader (Carrie), there was laughter. After all, it is pretty funny.

When I arrived at ** ***** ** *** (names have been redacted to protect the innocent) last month to take a product assessment and clean up our consignment space, I jumped for joy! We had sold a huge number of new products, including a Tiger Hat. I naturally assumed that it was all due to the pictures, fliers, and product displays that I set up directly following my rehearsal dinner. (That's right, I went to ** ***** ** *** after my rehearsal to set up pictures and product displays.)

Not so! When I received the sales report for the month of July, the tragedy became clear. Our products had gone missing. At first, I requested to know whether they had been misclassified. Maybe, just maybe, they were classified as "art" and not "Scarlet Threads." No, they replied, they must have been "lifted." What an adorable way to say "STOLEN." You mustn't think we blame ** ***** ** *** in the least. We are, in fact, very grateful for the opportunity to sell our products in the store and we've seen an increase in legitimate sales as a direct result of our consignment space.



Carrie got a huge kick out of this "debacle" because, in her words, "Who steals fair trade stuff? That's like stealing from small children or sticking your hand in the offering plate for change. I just find it very amusing; what are they going to do - give it as a gift with the tag: "by purchasing this product you help to empower rural women?"

That's our Carrie, turning lemons into lemonade! Turn that frown upside down!

Besides, we are moving from a "consignment" relationship to a retailer relationship with ** ***** ** *** because our products have become quite popular. Our facebook fan Julie wants us to rethink our promo taglines: "Our products are so irresistible..." I'm not exactly sure what follows that. Perhaps"...that they forget to pay." or "that they get in a rush to hostess in style, and forget to pay." Hmmm... maybe not, but we are excited nonetheless and we remain undeterred by this minor setback.

Eileen

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