Monday, June 27, 2011

All is Not Quiet on the Hilltriber Front

From the outside, things may seem a bit quiet with us. But if you're reading this blog, that means you're on the inside. And we want you to know that there has been a flurry of behind-the-scenes activity going on this summer as we prepare for our busy fall season of blessing for the artisans.

So, here's what's happening:
Kelsi Williamson
1. We're welcoming our intern Kelsi into the fold. And by "welcoming" we mean overloading her with all of the pent-up ideas and projects for the organization that we've been holding onto for years. We really can't emphasize enough how blessed we are to have her on our team. As a college graduate, I was nowhere near this mission-minded, thoughtful, caring, inquisitive, creative and smart. You're going to see some amazing things come out of this girl this year. I can't wait for her to be able to share them with you.

2. The artisans are weaving and sewing and jewelry-making like crazy! After a spring of product design, prototype-creating and testing, we've honed in on products that we hope will be the most successful and make the most of the artisans' time. I'm always amazed by how the artisans can take a few skeins of thread at one class meeting and come back two weeks later with sacks full of handmade goodness. Magic.

Sneak peak at Fall 2011! Scarves and jewelry and totes, oh my!
Photos by Kelsi Williamson.
3. The leadership team (Jonathan, Jessica, Meagan, Kelsi and I) have been meeting to discuss long-term goals and visions for the organization. We've always been a unique organization that doesn't fit neatly into a single category. We borrow concepts from the international economic development and fair trade worlds, but tailor them to work for refugee women operating in the Austin economy. Putting to paper all the things we have intrinsically been doing as a part of our relationships with the women has been both refining and defining for us.

4. Preparing for launch. As we look ahead, we are gathering steam for the fall and are preparing to launch a new website and fill the etsy store with new products in August. We're also planning on running some special promotions specifically for our loyal fans (again, if you're reading this, this means you!). So until August, we will be doing inventory, tagging products, taking pretty pictures and preparing them for their grand debut.

How can you help?
1. Pray. We're an organization that believes in the power of prayer. As we're all balancing other jobs and responsibilities, please pray that the time we spend toward this effort will go far in increasing the artisans success this fall.

2. When it becomes "time to launch" please join us in spreading the word. If you aren't already, it would help to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Pass our name (and our mission) on to your friends and be ready to be our cheerleader.

3. Lend us your ear (and your opinions). We may come to you between now and August and ask for your opinion. Knowing what will work in the marketplace is key to helping the artisans succeed this fall. If you have an opinion, please don't be shy!

Thank you for your support as this organization has grown over the past 3.5 years. We're looking forward to being able to share more of the inner workings of HCHT with you, our faithful fans, in the coming months.


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