Only $200 to go ! Gratitude Amidst Adversity - The struggle of a Small ethical Business
As I reflect on the journey of Uplift Fair Trade, I am filled with gratitude for each of you who have stood by us through thick and thin. Today, as I glance at our business bank account, there's a profound sense of achievement – we are merely $200 away from paying off a loan that once seemed insurmountable.
Your online orders and visits to our pop-up shop have been the lifeline that kept our dream alive.
The challenges of the past few years have tested me in ways we could never have anticipated. From the heart-wrenching decision to close our Katoomba shop to the drastic reduction in artisan orders, tears have been shed, and the stress of excess stock has weighed heavily on me. Yet, amidst the struggles, I've learned invaluable lessons that, though painful, have moved us slowly, step by step forward.
Before the bushfires ravaged our plans four years ago, we had a solid growth strategy with expert guidance from a Fair Trade specialist from India. Our vision included expanding into wholesale and opening a second shop. However, the universe had different plans – bushfires, followed by the relentless onslaught of Covid, floods, and a recession, shattered our business aspirations. The carefully crafted plan crumbled, leaving us grappling with unforeseen challenges.
In the face of adversity, a decision had to be made regarding the government loan offered during Covid. It wasn't an easy choice, and I grappled with uncertainties, wondering if it was a mistake. What I do know is that canceling orders to our struggling artisans was not an option. The aftermath included navigating increased rent post-Covid in Katoomba, making repayments to the loan as well, impossible. Therefore we had to close the shop.
Yet, we persevered, online. With limited resources and challenges to both my mental and physical health, we took small steps – booking more events, enhancing our website, and gradually rebuilding. Today, the imminent complete repayment of our loan is a cause for celebration, a testament to the progress made through persistent determination.
While tomorrow brings concerns about settling invoices with our artisans, finding new storage, and restarting Uplift sustainably, your unwavering support has been our anchor. The recent pop-up shop interactions, especially with those who make us a part of their annual Christmas gifting tradition, have been a source of encouragement. Your efforts to locate us and continue supporting us are not unnoticed.
I want to express my heartfelt thanks for giving me the strength to persevere. The journey ahead is daunting, but with supporters like you, the spirit to carry on remains strong. Here's to celebrating the small victories and embracing the progress, step by step.
With sincere gratitude,
Leave a comment
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Also in Fair Trade Stories & Case Studies
In the urgent battle against modern-day slavery, we must confront a crucial question: Is advocacy alone enough? Will advocacy end Modern day slavery? Is lobbing government, running awareness campaigns about slavery, sending letters to companies about their supply chains all enough to see systematic change?