Looking Back, Looking Forward: Celebrating Fifteen Years of the SLF’s Grandmothers Campaign
The Board would like to celebrate this anniversary by producing a virtual exhibition of art, photography, poetry and prose. We will invite submissions that speak to what members’ involvement in UJAMAA GRANDMAS is, and thus what the Grandmothers Campaign, has meant to them. It could be a poem about meeting one of the African grandmothers; a photograph of a special handcraft sold in one of the sales; a piece of artwork inspired by a story about the work of the SLF in Africa. We hope the submissions will tell our story in diverse, colourful, entertaining, and meaningful ways.
To put this all together, we need a small organizing committee, and some specialized expertise (such as web design). If you are interested in being part of this initiative in some way, whether on the committee or as a consultant in particular aspects of the project, please respond to email@example.com. We are happy to explore with you how you could become involved in a way that suits you and helps us with this project!
Sincerely, Leslie Buckle
Save the Date – Plan to attend the virtual Zoom Demo Day.
There will be sessions of interest in quilting, sewing, knitting, and other handcrafts.
WHAT: Demo Day
WHEN: Wednesday, May 5, 2021
Sign up information will arrive in the April E-News
Thanks to Zoom, BAGETTES met twice a month during 2020. We encouraged one another with show and tell, tips and tricks, pattern testing and challenges. We also shared via our Facebook group. In the summer, we were able to meet safely outside twice to share supplies and see things in the flesh. This ability to work together and connect on a regular basis made a significant impact on our emotional well-being during a difficult year. We plan to carry on and we are currently working on two new patterns for 2021 release. We have begun a series of bags recognizing our grandmothers. There are two so far; a French grand-mère, RYLEY and an Icelandic grandmother, AMMA. It seems we are diverse and there is more to come.
An ART TOTE challenge using our wine tote pattern resulted in the completion of 10 unique, art-inspired, wine totes. These totes were featured in an online auction in July and resulted in proceeds of $1167.70. We felt that the items that went to BB&B were our best yet and despite the difficult times, many bags and pouches were sold.
ONLINE PATTERN SALES
A few milestones were met and passed that allowed us to raise a cheer.
- Four new patterns were released in 2020 and reception to those patterns was very exciting thanks to some help from our strongest supporter, Emmaline Bags of Spruce Grove, Alberta. When Janelle puts BAGETTES in her newsletter that goes to 25,000 bag makers, visits to our shop and sales sky rocket.
- As of this writing, 1350 copies of our patterns were sold in 2020 – 53% of those sales were from our new patterns.
- Revenue for 2020 passed the $10,000 mark in early December and continues to climb. This revenue is gross – does not take into account cost of supplies, fees, or taxes.
- The first Etsy sale was on December 31, 2019. Since then, more than 1620 patterns have sold in the shop. This includes 42 copies of Backpack Bundle which is 3 patterns but is counted as one sale in the count.
- More than 400 shoppers have favourited our shop. This affects the search dynamics sending more shoppers to our store.
- Ratings of our patterns remain five-star with almost 70 reviews.
- We rebranded with a new banner and logo thanks to the support of Vancouver Island artist Anvil Island Design. In January we plan to do a formal launch of this new brand with a virtual party – aka sale.
If you have UJAMAA friends who share a common handmade endeavour, we strongly encourage you to try this form of meeting and sharing. Your group need not be formal. No one needs to be in charge other than to schedule and book the zoom nor does there need to be any high degree of organizing. Just get together virtually to work on your chosen interest, share ideas and patterns, chat, connect. You might be surprised at what may happen.
Please note that the Board is looking for one or two Members to join the Nominating Committee. This committee would help find individuals to fill the two vacant positions on the current Board (ie. the Events Liaison plus a Member at Large).
If you are interested in being on the Nominating Committee, or in filling the Board position of either the Events Liaison or Member at Large, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and your email will be forwarded to the appropriate person.