PRESSING ON: Overcoming Supply Chain Disruptions

As seasons change, we know our customers get excited watching our new product lines emerge, and we are just as thrilled to share them. We strive for innovation and creativity with each new design, and when our customers and friends appreciate that it puts smiles on our faces. The 2021 Fall Collection had us grinning especially big because we had so many new items to share, and the orders came pouring in!

Our lovable dinosaur ornaments really stood out from the crowd, selling out almost immediately after they were introduced. We knew we had created something special. And so did you.  Sadly, due to a combination of high demand and sourcing challenges, this cute dinosaur trio is extinct… temporarily. You all know – we love a good opportunity to be transparent – so here’s some more info as to WHY.

You see when we say “handmade” we absolutely mean HANDmade. When the specific wire needed to create our framed ornaments disappeared from the local markets, all we could find as a replacement was a wire which is much harder to bend and manipulate. The Mamas tried working with this wire, but it meant only one ornament could be made per person, per day, instead of the usual five. And, the harder wire was hurting the hands of the ornament makers. This meant we needed to regroup and stop production. After all, we think you’d agree that no one  should suffer to meet demand. Continuing to work with the hard wire just because the ornaments were popular  would go against our very nature as a fair trade organization that is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable work environment. While we are currently trying to find the needed wire outside of Ghana, we can’t make any promises, so these little friends will have to stay inactive for the time being. If we are able to make more, don’t worry – we will let everyone know. 

Unfortunately, this wire isn’t the only raw material that has impacted our production in recent months. Over this last year, we have had to pivot, make adjustments, and think more outside the box than ever. We’re currently in conversations among our team and other fair trade counterparts, discussing  how we will meet the new challenge of creating products with continued disruptions in our supply chain. From increased prices for raw materials, like our organic cotton fabric, to supplies just missing from the market, like specific colors of dye we need for production,  we are facing the impacts of the supply chain challenges that are happening globally. 

But, don’t worry! Since 2003, we’ve been on this journey. That’s 18 years of meeting challenges head on. Today isn’t any different. Our commitment will always be to create a life of prosperity for African women and their families by creating and selling handmade products of the highest quality. Despite setbacks, the Mamas have continued to produce exciting handmade products like the new patchwork stockings perfect for little gifts and treats but hopefully no coal. Through it all, we’ve been able to meet years of challenges and stick to our mission, largely because of our strong community and your unfailing support. For that we thank you. Stick with us. As we know more, we’ll definitely keep you posted.

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