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Exciting new products all the way from Nepal!
Monday, May 21, 2012

This was the opening of new Seven Women Cargo all the way from Kathmandu, Nepal. 
(Watch your eyes when you watch the video - it's a bit topsy turvy!)

Amongst the 4 metre cubed packages that arrived, there were much expected replenishment of popular products stock, as well as exciting new products, yet to be trialed and sampled in the Australian markets. We are hopeful and sure that they will be very well received!

As seen in the video, there are rice paper satchels, shoulder bags and pouches. These fantastic products are made from recycled and treated rice paper sacks - they are very sturdy and strong, and have beautiful colours on them from the design of the sacks. 

These colourful recycled rice sacks are salvaged from landfill, and after being scrubbed and washed, are hand-cut and sewn into these beautiful and unique pieces! The range includes pencil cases, coin purses, shoulder satchels and backpacks. The shoulder satchels are particularly practical, with a shoulder strap, belt loop, and about 10 different pockets and zips to fit everything in, and are only about 15cm wide and 20cm long. For $26, these are a great trendy option for a practical little bag, sturdy enough to take out anywhere!

These products are made by a women's co-operative in Kathmandu, which functions like EPSA, as an income generation project. The women source the materials locally produce these goods in their village and sell them through 2 shops in Kathmandu. So we are very proud to be able to support their project too, helping support them and give them a livelihood.
The coin purses retail for $7-$10 depending on the size (the larger ones also have 2 zip compartments). These have been especially popular for uni students and school kids (and teachers!). 

Successfully celebrating Australia's Fair Trade Fortnight!
Sunday, May 13, 2012

Across Melbourne and Sydney over the weekend, Seven Women were busily preparing for various events and networking opportunities to be a part of key Fair Trade fortnight! What an awesome way to get our name out into the public and be able to promote the importance of supporting fair trade initiatives, such as the EPSA centre in Nepal!

On Friday 11th May, Steph and the team down in Melbourne, had a Seven Women stall in the Atrium at Federation Square as part of the Victorian Fair Trade Festival! What a strategic location to be able to share with people about the work of women in Nepal - and the stall was extremely successful, selling two of our well-loved smartie ball rugs! These gorgeous felt ball mats are our most expensive product, retailing at $350 each because of the intricacy of the work that goes into making them. Each mat is made up of hundreds of little handmade felt balls which are individually rolled then hand sewn together - a painstaking process I'm sure!  Selling so much at the stall will enable us to purchase eight new sewing machines, which have been much needed for a while, for our Women's Skills Training Centre to help train more women and expand our work in Nepal. We would like to thank all our wonderful volunteers, all our supportive customers, and Moral Fair Ground for organising it. We hope this allows more and more people to know and love the vision of empowering women in Nepal to improve their lives.

As well as part of the Victorian Fair Trade Festival, we had our inspiring CEO Steph Woollard speak on the panel of speakers on Fair Trade entrepreneurship, sharing the story of Steph's journey of first meeting women in Nepal many years ago, to where Seven Women is today and the vision for the future. Steph was joined on this panel by Greg Modlin from 2Pocket Fair Trade, and Linda Chalmers from Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand. Again, this forum proved a fantastic opportunity to share the narrative and journey of Seven Women and why the work we do is so important. It is also great to hear from other inspiring people in their own journey's and pursuit of entrepreneurial fair trade initiatives.

Well, the very next day, is was Sydney's time to shine, and shine it did! We had the first public Seven Women market starring in the key event Manly Fair Trade Markets - a bi-annual market hosted by the wonderful Fair Trade Manly Council. Although the wind kept some of the crowds off the ferry, the market was still buzzing, and again we had great success in selling a lot of our products. There was a lot of interest in Seven Women and the EPSA project in Nepal, and great networking opportunities arose to develop our markets and connections across Sydney. Stay tuned as these connections begin to unfold. One of the most popular products in Sydney were our beautiful new hand knitted hand-warmers, modeled all day by Marissa, NSW State Manager. These are perfect gifts just in time for winter chill to creep in! Again, big thank you to our volunteer helpers and Manly Council to hosting a fantastic event!

What an exciting weekend! Watch out, there'll surely me more to come!
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