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Introducing Shared Trade!

by Abi Hewitt July 14, 2014

At last year’s Inaugural National Conference, Thistle Farms celebrated the first ever  Shared Trade MarketPlace. We hosted booths from our  Shared Trade partners ABAN, Lwala, and Sibimbe. And Becca shared her vision for  Shared Trade for the first time, dreaming of what it looks like to cultivate partner enterprises to help more women move permanently out of poverty.

Well, after a year of working and planning, we are thrilled to announce the pre-launch of Thistle Farms’ newest venture, Shared Trade:  A Fair Share for Women.  Birthed through the vision of Becca Stevens and Nicholas Hitimana, Shared Trade embodies the growing movement to build economic freedom in the lives of marginalized women around the world.  Shared Trade connects women who make handcrafted products directly to their customers by distributing and selling their products through a custom e-commerce website and MarketPlaces held in various cities.

Through this online store and MarketPlaces,  Shared Trade will extend the message around the world that Love Heals.  As Becca says, “We are acting globally so women feel freedom locally.” In addition,  Shared Trade works to ensure that women and their social enterprises earn a greater share of the profits.

Naturally, Thistle Farms is the first  Shared Trade partner and Thistle Farms will also act as distributor and sell all  Shared Trade products.

As a Thistle Farms supporter, you’re already familiar with the beautiful handmade products made off Charlotte Pike in Nashville and love the tea at the Café.

Maybe you’ve met Jennifer who came to Thistle Farms looking for a new life and found healing as she worked with the natural ingredients in a healing community.

Jennifer found her home in the circle and now works with PR, marketing, and volunteer coordination. She greets first time visitors and offers tours of the operation. She exudes hospitality and joy. Jennifer is also a crucial member of the  Shared Trade team,  helping craft the vision and plan.   

Last March, Jennifer went on a trip to Ecuador to visit the pioneering women of Sibimbe, a  Shared Trade partner. Jennifer heard the stories of the women firsthand. She said, “It was a very eye-opening, humbling experience. They practically have nothing, and they are the happiest people in the world.”

This trip increased Jennifer’s passion for  Shared Trade. She says, “It will open the world’s eyes… that just because somebody is dirt poor that doesn’t mean that they need be treated as less than. Everyone has their talents and strengths.”

Each week until the official launch in October at the Thistle Farms National Conference,  Shared Trade will introduce you to one of the starting 14 partner enterprises at  SharedTrade.org. Keep up with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Soon, we’ll have products you’ll find irresistible from Thistle Farms and other Shared Trade Partners!

Don’t miss the videos of Jennifer and others excited about  Shared Trade coming out this week!

Twitter:  @sharedtrade | Instagram:  @sharedtrade | Facebook:  www.facebook.com/sharedtrade

Abi Hewitt
Abi Hewitt



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