Starting a business, no matter how small, is hard work.
I dreamt up the idea for The Safari Collective last summer and launched it in November 2014, thinking those few months in between to plan, design and stock up on inventory would be plenty sufficient. I wouldn't call those thoughts naive but instead inexperienced. After all, there's no better learning tool than actually doing the thing you want to learn about. That's experience, and I didn't have that yet as a small business owner. Only a few months in, I realize I'm still no expert, but along the way, I've come to know that it takes time actually running the business to notice where things are lacking, succeeding and what could be improved.
From the start, I knew that The Safari Collective was going to be a place where I wanted to support the handmade and unique, but I sought a deeper meaning to what I was doing as a small business owner day in and day out. So over the past couple of weeks, I made it my goal to define TSC and what I wanted it to stand for. To do so, I sat down and wrote out the story of TSC.
Here's how it goes (can also be found on our brand new about page).
The Safari Collective was born out of a desire to feel connected to the objects we surround ourselves with. We believe there is a new kind of consumer in our world today - the one who craves passion and seeks meaning. By learning the story behind the products we invest in, we are participating in smart buying, a practice that supports sustainable and ethical production and values the handmade.
For years, founder and curator, Sarah Wheeler, searched high and low for home wares that were truly unique and supported the maker movement, but she never quite found it. So, in the summer of 2014, she dreamt up The Safari Collective, a carefully curated home goods shop with a mission to bring found, made and storied items to your home and life.
We know that our surroundings have an impact on how we feel, and so we hold a deep passion for goods which tell a story and allow us to feel connected, whether the story it holds is minutes young or years old.
We believe in the culture that small businesses bring to our society. We believe in the beauty that talented makers and artisans create. We believe in the stories that dream-chasers and go-getters have the power to tell.
Supporting our beliefs is our mission.
By collaborating with passionate artisans and bringing their creations to the forefront, we are selling you items that are the result of hard work, calloused hands, late night tears and long-awaited dreams.
As a small business, we know just how much every purchase matters. So we've made a commitment to give back as much as we can. Fair Trade USA is an organization which supports conscious consumerism, sustainable development and community empowerment. We strongly believe in all they do, and so we are helping in the small way that we can by donating 5% of our profits to making the world a fairer, more beautiful place to live.
It was a struggle to write this, because I was seeking perfection. Not in the grammar, sentence structure, spelling sort of way - but perfection in that it needed to perfectly represent the heart and soul of TSC, myself and what I wanted my business, my hard work, to stand for. I wanted it to be something I can be proud of. TSC is a one woman business, and I like it that way, for now at least. So I knew I couldn't change the whole world, but I wanted to start somewhere. I think this is a good beginning.
So, from here on out, 5% of any profits will be donated to Fair Trade USA, and supporting all they do. As much as I was putting off this soul-searching, meaning-seeking, redefining mission, I feel so much more fulfilled. TSC has a stronger purpose now, and I couldn't be happier.
IMAGE CREDITS. #1 and #5 James Rodriguez for Fair Trade USA
#2 Bennett Wetch for Fair Trade USA
#3 and #4 Theodore Kaye for Fair Trade USA