Teenage Years and Guatemala

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with my post. I love it because he never takes a shining to a doll, but he did with this one.

             benanddoll24.jpg

Win a Doll! One day left..see Sept 10th post for details!

 I feel as though I’m in the teenage years of my business. A little awkward and unsure right now. I’m a little bit bigger than I used to be but I’m not quite sure what I’ll grow up into yet. I think I should be taking certain steps but I don’t know what they are yet. I think I’d like to find some kind of business consultant or something. Although I am so excited about ‘growing up’ part of me wants to hide away and just make a few dolls here and there. I totally feel pulled and energized though to keep going and growing.

An amazing incident of serendipity happened to me a few weeks ago at my Farmer’s Market. I ran into an old neighbour Heather (read how we met here) who excitedly told me about her new project in Guatemala, Project Somos – an eco- village in Guatalmala for orphaned and abandoned children. We just started immediately talking about how I could help out and having Bamboletta as part of that picture. One of the things that Heather would like to do is Social Enterprise (small business’ that support the project) and I’m wondering how we could fit in all that. Perhaps have a few of the house mother’s do some knitting for me, make all my small dolls, develop a new kind of doll for them to create. All I know is the though of helping some women and lift them out of poverty is definitely something I’d like to be a part of – just not quite sure how yet.. I still feel strongly about what I believe is my next step, which is to have a space with a few women working where there is childcare and we all sit around a table and sew. I want to work with mamas that need financial help not only because of giving them work but also because the very act of creating can be very healing. If they can’t do all the work at the space then they could take it home to be with their children. This is my next goal.. the how of it all will come to me. I think I need to talk to some kind of government agency to help me on this one.

Anyhow, good news on the doll Etsy situation! I will have a big new batch ready for uploading on Sunday! Like 8 (!) of them, there may even be a fairy in there. The dolls are from my Birkeland window display  and need to go to new homes.

Naomi - September 29, 2008 - 2:39 pm

It sounds like an amazing project… I definitely look forward to hearing about your brainstorming.

We are loving our new addition, by the way. Thanks once again!

April - September 29, 2008 - 4:44 pm

I understand completely where you’re at – we’re there too right now. I feel a bit like a hermit crab who has outgrown his shell but doesn’t have a bigger one to move into yet. I did “stumble” upon great consulting services through Business Development Bank of Canada, which may help you with what you need. They come at a price, but having someone to talk to and coach me along has been very helpful – kind of like a business therapist, LOL! Otherwise, there are lots of government agencies and women in business (one of our local universities runs this centre) centres that can help.

Amy Atkinson - September 29, 2008 - 8:22 pm

If I were closer, I would love to make dolls for you! You have already successfully created a business with a heart, lots of them.

pascaline Legros - September 29, 2008 - 10:26 pm

what a great projet and how exciting it is for you… you have a business working well, now just look at the options to developp it further…and if possible helping others with it… all in all very positive no ?
One more day to wait before the result of the contest… so exciting…. have a nice day…
here in France , the weather of automn has arrived … it is chilly vanilly!!

Meike - September 30, 2008 - 4:22 am

Sounds like you’re on the threshold. Ready to take on new things, but unsure at the same time. Which is totally understandable. All you really need to do is to take a deep breath and go – but hey, that’s a lot harder than it sounds, as I well know… Finding someone who can help you get things in perstpective sounds like a very good idea, because there’s no need for you to do this all alone! It’s your business, of course, but sometimes – maybe because it is – it helps to have someone look at it with new eyes, someone who isn’t as intricately woven into the daily process of creating your lovelies as you are. Wishing you lots of luck! And the project sounds fabulous – both of them, actually.

P.S. One last thing – can I just say how incredibly cute Ben is? :)

Christine - September 30, 2008 - 4:43 am

I think it’s important to establish for yourself how big you want Bamboletta to become while you will still feel comfortable. Do you want to continue doing as much as you do now? Are you perhaps looking forward to be more of a coach or the creative brain and have others do the actual sewing and making? Or perhaps wishing to see the dolls in every major toy shop around the country or even the world? Think backwards from that wish (or goal) to where you are now, and you will know what to do step by step. I’m watching with great interest!! :-)
Also interesting to hear about the Guatemala project. My mother works for Fair Trade, they have projects like what you describe all over the world, little felted slippers from Peru, embroidered things from India, all small projects with local people making a living from what the Fair Trade organisation sells here. It’s great to buy something here and know the money flows back into the community over there who made it, without a middle man who did nothing but still taking the biggest cut.

Christine
PS: love the idea of sitting around and sewing together, I’ll definitely come by for that whenever I’m in the neighbourhood! 😉

emilykristin - September 30, 2008 - 5:19 pm

i love both of your ideas (and your son’s curls)!

Heather - September 30, 2008 - 7:42 pm

Christina, I too, cannot wait to see where we go with this. There are so many possibilities. Today was FULL of them for me (many interesting emails and phone calls)! Suddenly, we have so many great people getting interested and involved with the Project. Our philosophy is “inclusivity”. You have an idea, a passion or something you want to give/share? Let’s talk. The possibilities are endless! I can’t wait to see the first Bamboletta doll in the arms of one of the children in our Village!

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