Kenya Learning Tour & More

We had a Marketing committee meeting on Tuesday. The more interesting items of the agenda includes:

  • Make Austin a Fair Trade City. In a nutshell, mobilizing grassroots support and persuading members of the Austin City Council to endorse Austin as a fair trade city. Details to follow.
  • Plans for the store’s 3-year-old birthday celebrations over weekend of February 23. A three-day Asian, African, and Latin American-themed weekend. Plans are for music and food with partner organizations.
  • Remind everyone about Ten Thousand Villages products featured in the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition show on Sunday, February 18. Kitty is organizing a screening party for that Sunday evening
  • We’re sending Kitty on a Ten Thousand Villages Learning Tour to Kenya where she, along with other representatives from sister stores, will learn first hand the impact of fair trade for Kenyans. Upon her return, the idea is for her to share with various local groups the “Travels of a Fair Trade product in a Global Economy” that charts the beginning to point of purchase of a fairly-traded product say, a basket, jewelry or T-shirt.
  • Designing and offering our very own Ten Thousand Villages branded T-shirt for volunteer, staff and board members. I’m looking forward to Alan’s, our talented designer and Kitty’s hubby, designs.
  • Revamp of our local Villages Voice e-newsletter. I’m very grateful that Karen has volunteered to help with this. Look for a streamlined design and consistent monthly issues.
  • Refresh of the new Web site. We’re very close to launch. To the best of my knowledge, Akron (our corporate HQ) doesn’t provide a Web site template and each store can develop its own site. The purpose of the site is to showcase featured products, highlight upcoming events, and tell the fair trade story (i.e. a local site for volunteers to point their friends to and showcase the artisan story behind the products). Plus it will help in terms of search engine optimization when potential customers Google “fair trade Austin” or “Ten Thousand Villages Austin.”
  • Finally, rethink of the store’s exterior signage. I’m scheduled to discuss the vision and design with Grant (visual design expert) and Steve (president and zoning law guru) on Friday.