Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bead for Life: What a home-selling party should look like

My friend Deb invited a couple dozen women to her house (including many of my friends and fellow local blogger Emily) to buy beaded jewelry last night, but this was no ordinary home selling party. Yes, there was wine and snacks. But there was no rep hawking her goods. Deb wasn't earning free goodies with each of our purchases. No one was placing orders they'd have to wait weeks to receive. And I don't think anyone was feeling ripped off by inflated prices.

Deb was hosting a Bead for Life party, selling colorful paper beads handcrafted out of recycled paper by poor women in Uganda. It's a nonprofit, fair-trade enterprise, with 92% of the sales price directly benefiting women. We were shown a heart string-pulling video that explained how rolling and stringing beads allows women to stay in their homes, close to their children (instead of in a quarry, crushing rocks) and the global market for the jewelry ensures a decent pay that can be invested in school fees, home ownership and more nutritious food. I bought it, hook, line and sinker.

And it doesn't hurt that the beads are beautiful. I bought the three necklaces pictured for $65. Franny, avert your eyes. One of these is for you.