Archive for the Design Category
For immediate release: xx April, 2014.
Little Trove has designs on trade success
Fair Trade company Little Trove has been chosen to exhibit at a premier London exhibition as it explores new trade markets.
Pulse at Earls Court showcases specially selected design led goods to an international audience of trade buyers.
Little Trove of Newcastle, Staffordshire, is an on-line fair trade luxury goods and homeware business.
The company was founded on a party plan model with owner, Ramona Hirschi, recruiting consultants across the UK.
“Exhibiting at Pulse marks a new phase for Little Trove,” said Ramona. “Companies have to be selected to exhibit at Pulse and we are delighted to have been chosen.
“Our products will be showcased in an arena attended by around 7,500 international buyers.
“The exposure at Pulse comes at just the right time for Little Trove, as we are branching out into wholesaling our new products for the first time. We are working to forge alliances with homeware and gift stores as well as garden centres who we feel fit with our range of homeware and garden products.”
Pulse takes place on Sunday to Monday, 11 to 13 May. The Earls Court exhibition is the UK’s leading showcase for new products in homeware, giftware, fashion and accessories.
The theme of the 2014 show is “First Peek” providing buyers with the opportunity to be the first to discover never-before-seen products, future trends and up-to-the-minute market insights.
For media enquiries contact Nigel Howle on 07762043436, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to Editors:
Little Trove was founded in 2011 by Ramona Hirschi as a way to promote design-led fair trade products in the UK.
Ramona is passionate about providing work opportunities and in using fair trade as a means of generating income for disadvantaged producer groups. A recent fact finding visit to India resulted in the launch of a project with weaver women in a leprosy colony.
Little Trove won first place for entrepreneurial spirit in the 2013 Newcastle-under-Lyme Business Boost Awards.
We have been busy, busy, busy at Little Trove HQ getting our new products ready for the Spring/Summer 2014 launch. Starting from sorting out the importation of the goods from India and Indonesia, sorting out samples, product shoots, catalogue design and not to forget this fantastic new website!
What do you think of this responsive website?
What a great night it was. We won! Little Trove was awarded first prize in the Business Boost Awards for entrepreneurial spirit! It was an honour and privilege to be recognised by the business community of Newcastle under Lyme/Staffordshire.
Ramona missed the entire awards ceremony as she is in India starting a project at a leprosy colony. The project involves developing a line of products using the traditional weaving skills of the occupants of the leper colony. The products will be imported exclusively by Little Trove into the UK and sold via its network of consultants. Watch this space for our new bags!
20th August: We went up to the highlands and through to the North shores of Bali with John & Made Stevens. John is an Australian and Made is Balinese. It was a divine coincidence that we went to C3 Church in Bali yesterday for Sunday service and heard John speak about living out your faith through your everyday normal work. The topic was just a continuation of the conference I had attended some months back in Stoke on Trent. John invited us to join them on their weekly trip to the highlands to support their charitable outreach work, teaching children English and computing skills. Without these skills they stand no chance of breaking the cycle of poverty.
We got quite stuck in. There were 3 sessions the first day in the remotest of places. The roads were not exactly roads. Only the 4×4 could make it up. John put Raphael in charge of teaching them about the stars. Now when would these kids ever get to hear an Astrophysicist? Remarkable. Raphael could impart some scientific knowledge and I was able to translate it to Malay, which is similar to Indonesian, so the kids could understand. Never in my wildest dreams could I have planned that!
John showed us the water pump they had installed at the village so that the villagers higher up did not need to spend hours walking down to collect water. The water is pumped up stream straight to a tap at the top of the hill. A simple solution that helps tremendously. John and his team also build water tanks for the villagers to enable them to harvest rain water. Rain water is then used for their crops or family. Giving people the means to work and earn money is essential to break the cycle of poverty.
I need to tell you something marvellous that happened on our way up. We stopped to eat satay at a roadside stall. Now you probably didn’t know that I had a terrible rash on my foot. I’d had it for about 7 years during the hot months and during my trips to tropical countries. The GP said to me it’s a viral/bacterial infection that is in me and will probably never go away. The GP prescribed some cream that honestly didn’t work. The rash would spread like crazy from one foot to the next and be so unbearable that I wouldn’t be able to walk around in the heat. I thought to myself before going to Bali that this rash was going to make this trip and my trip to India really difficult. How could I be effective at helping producers with a rash that slowed me down?
The photo above shows the hour we all sat eating our Satay. The heat was starting to give me a headache. John jumped in to say “Can I pray for you”. “Sure” I said. He prayed for healing over my body, for a couple of minutes. We went back to eating. The headache never came on. Alright, small miracle or just coincidence. However, that evening, I looked at my feet and the rash that had covered my foot up to that point had subsided. No more itch. No redness. Just scars. Hmm…perhaps it’s just cooler up here, I thought. Next day, we went back down to the heat and stayed another week in 30+ degree weather. No rash, no redness and even the scars were disappearing. I called John to say how through his prayer my condition had been healed. He wasn’t the least surprised. He’s prayed for lots of sick people in Bali and God has healed.
I have now been to India and back….no rash whatsoever has reappeared on my feet. The scars are all gone. So perhaps you don’t believe in God. Perhaps you don’t believe in miracles. The thing is I do believe in both …. and now I have concrete evidence.
Yes, some pictures are blurry! Life on the road is not easy … snap a picture while you can, careful not to fall down the pothole, careful not to get run over by a bike, watch out for stray dogs following you, don’t step into the rotting food on the pavements, don’t showcase your electronics too openly, don’t faint in the heat, don’t buy drinks from dodgy looking stalls & just use the dirty toilets because you are desperate. You get the picture? Now picture the scene, feel the heat, smell the incense & food and read a brief account of my adventure in Bali, Indonesia.
Arrived today 14th August and made our way to Sanur where we will be staying for next few days. Sanur is away from the tourists but close to import/export houses. Not the nicest place and certainly not what they show in travel magazines! Also, the statues of gods everywhere is, honestly, freaking me out.
15th August: In the taxi we went up and down Denpasar looking for handicrafts. Met a guy who has interesting vintage stuff, who then took us to a wholesaler. Problem is they can’t tell where the products are from. No way we can verify that fair trade principles have been followed. We had to extract ourselves from their company to carry on with our search.
I’ve noted that infrastructure here is bad. Where are the pavements? I guess no one’s suppose to be walking like we are.
Why have I not got mobile signal? Apparently I activated my Orange roaming but roaming doesn’t work here. Great.
Wifi? The hotel has wifi but you have to get to one corner of the room to get intermittent signal. I notice that my English friends are ever so efficient with emailing, texting, facebooking & tweeting me and wondering whether I have fallen off the face of the earth. My dear friends, I am still alive but this is the rhythm of life in a developing country. People aren’t so hooked on their phones. People don’t generally have smart phones.
16th August: One of the first organised visits today was to the production facility at the Natural Light Candle Company. We stock many of their luxury handcarved candles. It was a delight to meet Kelly Marciano, the creative mind behind the brand. Absolutely great to see such happy workers too. Below is a blurry picture of Ramona in their exhibition room. Kelly was reluctant to let us photograph the workers to protect their privacy.
18th August: We moved to Seminyak to be closer to producers in this area. Today we went up by taxi to locate a candle manufacturer we had found on the internet. So such luck. No such business existed! Here’s a warning to people ordering online from “factories” the other side of the world. This is why you have to do the legwork and meet your producers.
We met a lady entrepreneur with a huge collection of jewellery and bags. I was after bags but her bags were a bit old fashioned. She said she was moving into more jewellery anyway. We’re not doing jewellery. A good contact to have for the future.
19th August: We walked up and down Jalan Kerobokan looking for some exporters. Tired. Dirty. Fed up. Property numbers are not in any chronological order here. You just make up any number. No rhyme or reason. Found the exporters. No one spoke English or knew what was going on so we GAVE UP!
>21st August: We went up to Klungkung en route to Ubud to explore the region and find artisan producers. We found out from our hotel guy in Sanur about this wood production “factory” in Klungkung. We rolled up to a house to find a wood production facility inside run by Nyoman. We looked around his facility, verified his compliance to fair trade principles and thought his product range looked promising. It was a bizarre afternoon as Nyoman didn’t speak any English; only Indonesian and Japanese. Raphael resorted to speaking some Japanese (which he had learnt whilst living in Japan back in 1999) and Ramona resorted to using the Malay language which is similar to Indonesian. Between the two languages, they managed somehow to communicate. The taxi driver and Nyoman’s wife spoke English though … and so were our official translators. Phew!
Gianyar province: As promised we went to Gianyar to meet Made’s father who makes candles, bamboo candleholders and so on. Lovely family. Candles are our best-sellers but these are just not there in terms of quality. Will need product development. We worked with Made on some boxing ideas, colours, fragrances but I’m not sure he’ll be able to increase his standards. He can’t access good fragrances. We love essential oils and natural waxes but he’s been using paraffin and some cheap fragrance. Let’s see what we can do for the future.
22nd August: Ubud. Hmm…not so Eat Pray Love. The smell of incense is intoxicating. Lots of furniture factories en route. Note to self for the future.
23rd August: Down from Ubud and chanced upon the Fair Trade House in Sanur. It’s the official WFTO office in Bali. Why didn’t I think of this before!!! Got a list of WFTO producers from them. Only 2 in Bali…one up in Ubud. For now, my search for goods is over. I am exhausted and fed up of traffic. If I sit in another taxi on another bumpy ride with more horning left right and centre I am going to scream!
Just take me to Nusa Dua for our weekend holiday. The Westin here we come!
23rd – 26th August: Holiday at the Westin, Nusa Dua. Luxury. Luxury. Luxury. Spa treatments at a nearby town, lazing on the beautiful sun loungers, swimming in a gorgeous pool, eating fantastic food. We really needed this after 10 days of relentless product sourcing.
27th August: Back to the UK. Arrived at Heathrow, drove to Luton to wait for arrival of our children back from Switzerland. They’ve been there all Summer. That’s the only way we can get away to our overseas producers.
Bye to our Indonesian friends. Now the work begins to sift through what we found and work towards next year’s range.
1st April 2014: The official launch of the Eko range of wooden kitchenware from Nyoman’s facility in Klungkung.