Inspiration for Soul Sister Gifts
In early 2020, Covid-19 flung the world into chaos, both Domestic & International travel from Australia was brought to a halt and strict border closures were enforced.
My travel business BUCKET LIST TRAVEL AND CRUISE was unable to operate & for the first time in my adult life, I was faced with the harsh reality of potentially not being able to financially contribute to support myself and my family. This was unknown territory to me, and it is a feeling I will never forget.
We were learning more and more of the devastating impact Coronavirus was having across the entire world. Travel had ceased, businesses were being shut down, cities and even entire countries were going into lockdown and the pandemic was affecting many people and also devastatingly causing people to lose their lives.
Hearing the stories of hardship and struggles from many of my friends across the world that I have met whilst travelling, whose livelihoods depend greatly on the dollars that tourism brings in, I was inspired by them, to hear how even through these hard times, they remained positive and grateful every day for what they had in life - family and good health above everything else ....
But you need something to sustain these things and I wanted to reach out to them and help in any way I could ... but I also didn't want to impose on their pride or offend them, I knew a hand up was what I wanted to offer, not a hand out ...
and so amongst all this chaos and madness and uncertainty of the Covid-19 Pandemic globally …..the idea for SOUL SISTER GIFTS was created.
My passion is travel, and I love nothing better that discovering other countries, cultures, food and emerging myself in local life and learning about other customs and traditions and meeting and talking with the locals (even when there are language barriers, looking into someone’s eyes and giving a genuine smile is all it takes for those barriers to be broken down).
On my travels I always try and support locals by purchasing their goods, especially at markets and street stalls where you will often find incredible handmade gifts, jewellery & homewares.
Quite often these products are made by the local women and you can see their genuine gratitude when you purchase something from them, sometimes without any words spoken or knowing their story, it is always really heart warming knowing that the product you have just bought is making a difference, that it is helping someone support themselves, provide for their children and family and contribute to their community.
As a travel agent I love telling my clients about the destination they are about to travel to, especially from my own personal experiences ... the people I have met, the great personal taxi driver or nanny, an amazing restaurant serving local cuisine, the beautiful handmade products I had purchased from the locals in the market or some tiny shop down a hidden alley way.
My clients also love my personal recommendations and I was truly missing this part of travel and this connection to the people and the countries I had visited.
Through my research for Soul Sister Gifts I have come to learn more and be inspired by many community based organisations across the world that largely employ, encourage and empower women to have financial independence through sustainable employment, teaching them life & business skills to be in control of their own lives, support themselves & their families & to be a role model for their children and for other women.
Many of these groups are also preserving valuable cultural traditions by being able to earn an income through the handicraft skills that have been passed on from generation to generation.
These groups make beautiful handmade items and along with the ladies who work in the markets, are really struggling during these times and not having any tourists to purchase the goods that they make.
What if I could help them? What if I could help them to sell their products and promote their stories? What if I could help them to be empowered and support their families?
And so ... this was the inspiration behind SOUL SISTER GIFTS.
Ethically sourced beautiful handmade gifts, jewellery and homewares from around the world, using the principles of Fair Trade, particularly from individual women or women led community based organisations empowering women to support themselves and their families and earn an income through sustainable employment, often under difficult social and geographical conditions.
All of our gifts are bought at their asking price and we work together with our partners with mutual respect, honesty, trust, integrity & compassion …..
SISTER TO SISTER.
Buying Fair Trade is a choice – it connects you to a culture usually different to your own and shows that you care about the world you are living in and the people in it.
We hope that you are not only inspired by the beautiful stories of our partners but also by the beautiful products that they make …..
We take pride in knowing that each gift that is purchased is helping another SISTER…… to be independent, to put food on the table, to put her children through school, to provide clothes, to have access to medical, to contribute to her community, to be a good role model to her children and other women… to be EMPOWERED to live her best life!!
Gifts from the soul that empower a sister ….. SOUL SISTER GIFTS