Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Let's be Frank

I've started my Christmas shopping.  Our family tends to keep things small and simple, but I still want my gifts to be more than just a trinket, made at the expense of someone I don't know.  If I could, I'd give everyone the beautiful Christmas ornaments we make... and while I think those would be great gifts for your friends and family, mine probably don't want anymore.  :)

I'd tell you what I'm buying, but that might spoil some surprises... but what I can say is that I'm discovering each year there seems to be more and more causes that enable us to do ENORMOUS good with the simple act of doing something we already do -- buying Christmas presents.  So far, I've already contributed to another family's adoption and supported one of my favorite charities, all while getting cute gifts for my family!

I've been puzzled by something this year... last year, our Christmas ornaments ran out of stock faster than we could replenish them.  So this year, we prepared well in advance.  We had Lao Yen make new ornaments, more of the classic favorites, and even some for people who might not want Chinese charactersIn the span of a few months, we were able to give him so much work that he likely earned as much as he did the rest of the year.  And for these few months, he's been able to work from home with his family, rather than in the city where he only saw them every few weeks. 

But to be honest, the vast majority of those ornaments are sitting in a closet in my daughter's bedroom, and if we don't sell them this month, we aren't going to be able to hire him again next year.  We've always said that Scarlet Threads is a business with the heart of a charity, but fundamentally if we don't sell product, we can't make more.  And I know we are doing ENORMOUS good, so I really don't want these mini-works-of-art sitting in my closet! 
  • In addition to supporting Lao Yan and Huan Mei and Deng Jia in their small businesses in China, we have used Scarlet Threads capital to begin a sewing cooperative in Midland, Texas working with Burmese Chin Refugees.
  • We gave our first adoption grant this year, and we are actively raising funds for our next grant through the sale of items in our Scarlet Scraps line.  (100% of profits go to the grant fund.)
  • We began an adoption fundraising program this year, and have helped over 20 families raise money for their adoptions with zero financial risk to them.
  • We are raising money for New Day Foster Home, and offering special deals to people who contribute to their noble work.  (Like right now, we will take 30% off your order when we process it if you make a donation to NDFH and let us know in the memo field when you place your order.)
All of us who work for Scarlet Threads in the USA do so primarily as volunteers.  (Even our beautiful new website was a volunteer effort!)  When you purchase our products, you are contributing to the projects I mentioned above, not to my kitchen-remodel.  :)  (Note: There is no kitchen remodel.  But -- full disclosure -- I'd love to "pay" myself some this year, especially in light of our upcoming adoption trip... I guess in some ways, it's another form of adoption fundraising!)

So please, this Christmas season... please SHOP with us, share our products with your friends, and help us further our mission of empowering these incredible artisans through employment.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Carrie, I would like to order a set of ornaments but I am in Canada and cant use the regular checkout! Help! please email me