It’s never a good idea to post when you’re emotional. Ah well.
Tonight I’m sad for a couple of reasons and they’re both tied to Africa. The first is for the same reason you might be sad and shocked – or soon to be – by the video put out by Invisible Children about the war criminal, Joseph Kony, and the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, made up of over 30,000 kidnapped children. Hard to stomach, hard to believe.
I know this is one atrocity of many in our world and a sober reminder of the evils we don’t often witness firsthand, just by video. I’m so glad there is an action attached to this awareness campaign. The work has just begun.
I’m also upset about my business. Yes, the one I sold. I’m not sad because I sold it – I totally love the two women who bought it and am excited about their vision for growing it. But someone has put a damper on this time of celebration for the new owners.
Another bead store in our own backyard has ridden in on the coat tails of Big Village. For 3 1/2 years, Big Village worked hard to introduce Canada to these cultural beads from Ghana and spread the word about them and the amazing, resourceful, ingenious people who make them. The business was built on relationships and fair-trade principles.
But another bead store – in town, no less – has used that hard work to their advantage. Unfortunately, we might have marketed too well! Customers loved our beads and so they asked this particular bead store to bring them in. But they chose not to go through Big Village and purchased the same kind of beads from another supplier. As the new owners host their first Open House, the other business is doing a big promotion of their new African stock.
But that’s business, right? Nothing personal?
Of course, they had every right to! But it seems unkind and uncool-operative.
I won’t go on, other than to say that the bummer of it is this heavy rain on our parade. Big Village will go on and continue to build business, of course it will! But the timing sucks. RIGHT NOW, when we are celebrating the continuation of this great partnership with our guys in Ghana, the other business is crashing our party and taking a piece of pie for themselves.
I leave for Ghana with the new owners of Big Village in April – perhaps my last trip for a while. I’ll savour every moment. It will clear my focus too. Whenever I go, when I see my friends and the hope that absolutely fills that place, I can’t help but gain a brighter perspective.
You know, Ghana has so much to offer. Even in terms of what Uganda is going through right now, as a fellow African country, it can demonstrate hope to them. Ghana can show her sister what it looks like on the other side of adversity, to live peaceful and productive lives. All the hard work happening here and over there, now and in the future, will be worth it.
If that’s true, then SURELY both businesses can share a piece of Ghana.
The storm clouds are lifting.