aDARable in ATL

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This weekend the WeAreDAR team packed our bags and headed down to Atlanta, GA to be a part of the Apparel Market. This was our very first time at any event like Market (and my first time in Atlanta – hello, Gladys’ Chicken & Waffles!) and we were so happy to meet all our new buyers! The unique and wonderful thing about WeAreDAR and our line, aDarable, is that it truly tells a story. It was encouraging to hear buyers taking notice of not only our beautiful products but also to see them really listen to the whole purpose of the line. We now will have aDARable sold in 5 new stores and you can’t help but just feel this good energy continuing to build around this project.

– Tiffany

Embracing the Process

How moving is this video? I can’t wait to buy it once it’s released. Our dream is to make their dreams come true by giving their mothers job opportunities and stability. Each day we inch a bit closer. Life has been hectic and crazy as of late. So much is going on in our neck of the woods, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Our aDARable daughters are trotting the streets of Washington, DC ( I swear my girls travel more than I do…a bit jealous!) while we prepare for market, which is later this week.

This past weekend I had an opportunity to participate in a local half marathon. My running hasn’t been the best because I have been so busy, and I just didn’t think it would be the best idea to run. But I couldn’t get over the fact that I had paid quite a bit to participate and so I woke up at 4:15am on my day off to run….I was so mad at myself!

When I got there I mentally shifted and just accepted I would be running for the next couple of hours. I took advantage of this time to myself to think about everything we have going on. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made. During my run, I realized how far we’ve come. For some reason things just keep falling into place. We’ve become such a close knit group of passionate women determined to grow this project. This week we are headed to market in hopes of selling to retailers all over the southeast. Keep us in your prayers. We hope to make you proud!!!

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Feeling like the luckiest girl in the world! OH! And I finished my run strong. I actually PR’ed by five minutes. I need to think about this project more often during my runs 🙂

m.

Ah ha.

This post comes to you from my quaint living room in my little upstairs apartment I lovingly refer to as my little ‘cottage’. I have an apple cinnamon candle lit and am sipping on a chai latte I made from the Trader Joe’s mix I anxiously await all year. I am taking a minute for myself and letting life sink in.

Todays topic of choice is one of much interest. ‘Ah Ha’ moments. You know what I’m talking about. Those moments where there is a shift in the universe and things seem to be coming together, even though you weren’t sure they would.

A few days into our most recent trip to Haiti, one of our machines just wasn’t working. In light of having a few other unpredictable hiccups with the machines, this was not the kind of news we wanted to hear. The feed dogs weren’t sitting parallel with the arm of the machine and therefore, weren’t able to pull the fabrics through accordingly. We informed our interpreter and friend, Marc-Endy. He casually mentioned that he knew a man in the village who could fix it. I remember a sense of disbelief coming over me. There’s no way that in the middle of a third world country we could find someone able to repair this machine…And after only 15 minutes, the man walked in and sat down with Marc-Endy and I. Out of his pocket, he unfolded a piece of paper that was fragile, old, and I could see it was of great value to him. It was a certificate from a school to, in fact, repair sewing machines and was completed in the late 90’s. I was in total shock that this paper was in such great condition and that he was able to keep track of it for so long! Let’s be real, it’s almost as old as me! And just like that, he looked it over, took it apart, put it back together, and voila! IT WORKED. Magical words when you find yourself farther away from a sewing store than you’ve ever been. On top of it all, I payed him $15. He was thankful and so were we. He made twice as much as the average Haitian makes in ONE MONTH, and we got an insanely good deal. In the states it would have cost more than $50, not to mention having to ship it back and forth. I explained to him that this could be extremely beneficial for him, too. Our machines will break. It’s a fact. And knowing that we have someone capable of fixing them who lives 1/2 a mile from our little fair trade factory makes us breathe a little easier. And reminds us that we are on the right track.

You see, when you find yourself doing something good, really GOOD, things are bound to go wrong. I believe that there is an evil force trying to trip those kinds of people up. But, there’s an even greater force working for the good of us all. In the end, those small miracles are what keeps us going. Little reminders that we are fighting the good fight.

As my grandpa always (let’s be honest, within the last few years) says, keep on keepin’ on.

-Crista.

Now What?

I am blown away by the love and support so many of you have given us and for sharing our story with so many. Thank you really doesn’t explain how truly thankful we are.  This project continues to blow me away. Because of YOU, our following has grown by over 600 people. So many of you have reached out asking how you can help and if you can join us. We are beyond grateful. And right now our answer is “yes” you can help us. Simply “pray it forward”. Keep us and our women in your prayers, and keep sharing our story. 

So now what? Our goal was to sell 750 pieces in September. Today, so many of you had questions for us. Did you meet your goal? So what now? When do you go back to Haiti? Etc.  So, I thought I should answer some of these questions.

Hold on…. First, let me take you back 6 weeks ago to Ti-Bouk, Haiti. We were sitting around after supper discussing our plans to sell aDARable. I’ll never forget the courage it took for me to step up to the other 4 girls and say,  “We are going to pre-sell 750 pieces in the month of September.” There were mixed emotions. A couple of the girls looked at me like I was crazy, while the others were excited about it saying, “Yes we can!” 

I honestly believed we could do it, but we fell short of our goal. For a few days I was bummed that we didn’t  meet our goal, but my Daddy quickly came to mind. Being the baseball enthusiast that he is, he always told me, “From time to time, life will throw you a curve ball, and when it does, baby girl, you better be ready to hit that ball outta the park!” And so we quickly revamped our business plan, and in a couple of weeks our team is headed down to Atlanta for the Children’s World Market. 

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By going to market, we are making ourselves available to people who have access to our target market. That is brilliant! But we’ve never been before so we are excited, yet nervous all at the same time. We are also really anxious to see the feedback that we will receive! This will be awesome for us. We haven’t really had an opportunity to hear what our target market likes and dislikes about our collection. Most importantly we hope our story, and the story of aDARable, will bring awareness about our life changing, fair-trade, children’s clothing line. We aren’t telling people something new about Haiti. It’s common knowledge that it is a very poor country. We are trying to give an opportunity to a village to turn itself around. But, we can’t do this alone. So again, we simply ask for all of you to keep us in your prayers. For those of you who have already purchased, THANK YOU!!! We hope you share the story of your little girl’s aDARable outfit with her. Remind her that her outfit was made with love and joy, because while one of our women was making your daughter’s outfit, she was rejoicing in the life changing opportunity your purchase has given her.

 And before I go, I wanted to share a video that is more powerful than any words I have.  It has gotten me through a couple of the obstacles I have encountered recently, and reminds me to keep going because our women, our team, is worth it. 

Feeling grateful.

Martha