New Year, New Us!

Welcome to the first of our Think Thursday posts.  Even though Kevin insists that statistically I’m wrong, it always seems like the day-to-day tasks are less on Thursday, so I have time to look at the bigger picture of our business and just, well, think.  We’d like to invite you to join us in taking a breath on Thursday and spending a little time thinking about what’s next, what needs to improve, and what’s been a success.

No really, thank you!

In 2015 we started working with an advisory board made up of successful business people in a range of professions. The one piece of advice that has made the most impact was an innocuous little question; “Have you asked your customers how you can help their businesses?”  Kevin and I looked at each other: when was the last time we really spoke to our customers?  So “Coffee with Kevin” was born and many of you spent time helping us gain insight into where we were hitting the mark in serving your businesses and where we were failing.  The insight you gave was invaluable and has enabled us to realize what our strengths are and what we can provide that will help your businesses.

What We’ve Done

Last year we helped several of you build or enhance your online presence by offering a website on an ecommerce platform for your retail store. We also designed a system to support customers who wanted to include our products on their existing ecommerce websites through drop shipping.  Our Marketplace concept where we offer products from other fair trade wholesalers grew to ten product lines with more scheduled to go online in 2016.  These successes helped define our direction for 2016 as an online wholesale fair trade business.


What You Can Expect in 2016

In 2016 you can expect us to build more partnerships with fair trade wholesalers, enhancing our fair trade wholesale offering to you. We are renaming “the Marketplace” to “Collections Showcase” and will be focusing on collections of products that are cohesive and belong together.  We will hone the Global Crafts offerings to fit into collections, rather than 1000+ products that went on for pages and pages.

Starting in January, we will be writing posts on our blog, “Think Thursday” that we hope will address many of your business needs. We will share technology tips, opinions of products across wholesalers, best business practices, fair trade impact stories, and marketing advice.  You’ll see a new post every Thursday.

Our Community

MegyKarydesHiResHeadshotIn addition to blog posts by Kevin and myself on a wide range of topics, we are thrilled that Megy Karydes from Karydes Consulting has agreed to share her vast marketing expertise for both bricks-and-mortar and online stores. Many of you may know Megy from her fair trade wholesale business World Shoppe and as a board member of the Fair Trade Federation.  We’re looking forward to learning quite a bit ourselves from her posts and are excited that she will be able to present the marketing world with a fair trade slant.

I’m looking forward to posting product suggestions and reviews and will be reaching out to you for your opinions. I’ll be asking for them in advance in our newsletters, by email,  and on our Facebook page.  You are an integral part of the success of these posts — your opinions will not only introduce products, they may set direction for what retailers want to carry.  And wholesalers, we want to hear from you too!

How Else Can We Help?

Kev-&-Ren-Nicaragua-2015Our eyes were truly opened when we started talking to you and we don’t want to stop there. Our newsletters and website will still have a link to “Coffee With Kevin” so that you can set up a convenient time for you to talk about your business needs to either of us.  We believe that this community we are a part of is unique in that we not only share information, we’re all excited to tell others what works and what doesn’t.  We look forward to being the conduit for building successful businesses that support fair trade producers and their communities and are so glad to have you along for the ride.

Renice Jones and Kevin Ward
Cofounders of Global Crafts



For comments and discussion, please join our Facebook Group Think Thursday


Renice co-founded Global Crafts in 2002 with her husband Kevin Ward after settling in Florida after 3 years in Kenya as a Peace Corps volunteer. Creating a Fair Trade business that married her passion for artisan-made pieces and years of experience in IT finally enabled Renice to find her perfect career.