It is incredible to think that 2019 is almost here and that Collective Goods has been up and running for an entire year already! As we enjoy our last few weeks of 2018, we at CG wanted to look back and celebrate everything that was accomplished this past year, and thank all of you for your amazing love and support.
The first few months of 2018 were spent planning, planning and planning as the CG volunteers met every few weeks to establish the vision and mission of CG, figure out a marketing strategy, and get communications rolling with Ellilta Products, our first Global Artisan partner.
In March, several members of the CG team traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where we spent a few days traveling the city to visit various Ellilta Women at Risk (EWAR) sites where the rehabilitation programs run for the women coming off the streets. We had the privilege to witness the EWAR program in action and meet so many brave women and hear their stories. We also spent a lot of time at the Ellilta Products workshop, where we got to meet all the amazing women who work there and even sit with them and watch them handcraft hundreds of beautiful pieces of jewelry. We even got to try handweaving a scarf on their loom! (Needless to say, we definitely needed a LOT of practice.) Visiting the Ellilta Products workshop and seeing the women at work was such an eye opening experience as we saw just how much work went into every scarf and piece of jewelry.
In June, CG hosted it’s official launch and first ever pop up shop at Distilled Beauty Bar. It was such an amazing day where we were able to meet so many great people, share about the women of Ellilta Products and we nearly sold all of our inventory from our first collection! It was so exciting to see all of our efforts come to fruition and humbling to receive so much love and support from our community.
In October we held a benefit concert to raise funds for CG, so that we would be able to continue ordering more and more beautiful goods from Ellilta Products. It was a wonderful night of chamber music, where we had so many talented musicians perform amazing classical pieces at the Rozsa Center at the University of Calgary. We hosted another successful pop up shop and received continued love, support and donations. Very special thanks to Katherine Kim, Hojean Yoo, Jaewon Ahn, Lihn Nguyen, Hana Kim and Irene Choi for donating their time and sharing their beautiful music!
November was a busy month of meaningful collaborations and more pop up shops! We first connected with Rosso Coffee Roasters, as we had discovered that CG and Rosso share a ton of common values (see our CG x ROSSO blog post to learn more!) and Rosso graciously opened up space for at their Studio Bell location where we hosted a pop up shop. We also had Handmade Music, a crazy-talented local band, come out and perform an incredible set for us and all our of guests.
Two weeks later, we collaborated with Raw Voices YYC, a spoken word, live music and stand up comedy event that happens once a month at Loco’s Lounge downtown. Raw Voices host Bethel invited us to come out to their November show, where the theme of the night was all about women’s empowerment. We had a chance to get on stage and speak all about CG and Ellilta Products and, you guessed it, hosted another pop up shop!
And here we are, in December! We kicked off this last month of the year by joining up with Market Collective, where we had a table for the first weekend and were able to display and sell beautiful goods from Ethiopia and share with so many people about the hands who made them. It was so much fun and it was so great to be a part of Market Collective, which has always been such an amazing event in Calgary.
Needless to say, CG has had a very busy first year! It has been filled with learning and growing and successes we can only feel incredibly grateful for. We thank all of you, our friends, our community, our supporters, for getting excited about helping our sisters around the world and encouraging us in our work. We are super excited for what’s to come in 2019!!
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and see you very soon,
Your CG Team