#MAKEFORGOOD with Etsy & Plan International
It was this time last year I was still on a high, I had just come back from a whirlwind trip of a lifetime sharing my skill "soap making' with an incredible community of women in Cambodia. Making memories and lasting friendships with travel buddies I had never met before, this trip was a milestone in my life. It marked a transition from working full time as an upholsterer to doing what I love the most creating artisan soap.
In 2015 Etsy
fronted a campaign like no other, #Makeforgood. A project which would be powered by Australian sellers and in partnership with Plan International
to help change and make a difference in the world for girls. We were given the theme of Silver Linings and Etsy sellers from all over Australia were invited to join in. The goal was to raise $20,000 by creating a special product for the campaign, enough to change the lives of 150 women through grants to start their own micro enterprises.
I had previously created the Two Heart Soaps both adorned with Gold & Silver Leaf, I modified this soap product and created the Silver Heart Soap. As this product was a limited edition, I really felt the need to create more of a whimsical feel to the packaging going the extra mile to make the packaging unique and quaint.
How did joining the campaign help me and my Etsy Shop?
Check out my Etsy Store here:
Of course the main goal of this campaign is to raise money! Its also a chance to interact within a smaller community of likeminded Australian sellers, in 2015 over 400 makers took part, we all banded together and shared our #makeforgood products over social media. I know I sat on my computer for hours making sure a good percentage of my Christmas gift giving list came especially from those who made #makeforgood products. I love (of course) giving handmade gifts but even better if its for a cause right?
Leading up to Christmas, Etsy Au and Australian Etsy Teams like Sydney Made
focus on this project with #makeforgood editor picks, blog posts, social media shout outs and more! In turn this activity drives traffic to your store resulting in more sales, yay for #makeforgood and high five to you! And who doesn't like being given a creative theme to work and make to? The theme for me made me think out of the box and really got those creative juices flowing.
Together we raised a crazy insane $31,997! It was announced that one of the top 20 fund raisers would have the opportunity, along with a plus one, to travel to Cambodia with Plan International to witness first hand how the money raised would go to helping women and girls in small rural communities. There would also be an amazing experience to spend time with these women and partake in a skills exchange.
I was extremely overwhelmed and incredibly lucky to receive a call one day at the beginning of 2016 from Helen Souness the Managing Director of Etsy Australia. She informed me that I had been chosen for this experience, my legs turned to jelly and my heart was beating out of my chest! I couldn't believe it, 2016 so far was going to be a year to remember. For my plus one I wanted to take another Etsy Seller who had participated and helped raise funds for the campaign. This way the skills exchange experience and the community of Cambodian women would benefit from learning another skill, and boy wasn't it a good decision. The super awesome and inspiring Sonia from Dandelyne was my buddy for the 10 day adventure. Along with Sarah Pontheiu from Etsy, Emilie Ritsevski, Vanessa Calvert, Amy Stockwell and the most incredible community of women, the skills exchange was a day not to be forgotten.
To Be Continued,
Part 2 The Skills Exchange.
Image taken by Emilie Ristevski