Who We Are
My name is Taliah Muhammad and I am the founder of "Gifts With A Story". The idea for "Gifts With A Story" started almost three years ago when my Mother and I opened "The Cultural Village", a small fair trade gift shop located in downtown Petersburg, Virginia. When we discussed the possibility of opening a retail store I knew that in order for me to change professions it had to be for a purpose-filled reason and so, I begin to share the idea and research.
Soon a good friend told me about Fair Trade- a trading system designed to help artisans and farmers in economically disadvantaged countries. I loved the idea and with my degree in Political Science thought it would be a perfect fit. I soon shared the 9 Principals of Fair Trade with my Mom and she loved it too!
So much has happened since then; my Mother resigned so she could care for my older Brother after he was diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer. However, she remains one of my greatest supporters. Shortly after I closed down the retail location in Petersburg and decided to go mobile. For the past year I have been taking our Artisans crafts to military malls to sell and promote fair trade. I affectionately call this my "Craft Caravan"
This campaign is important to me because I believe each of us can do small things to make a huge difference in the world. The goal of Gifts With A Story is to empower others through entrepreneurship. Our goal is not just to purchase products from our artisans for our brand--we will be teaching them skills like product development, packaging, and marketing to give them the skills to market their own product on a global level if they choose to.
Ahmad speaking to a group of Fashion Merchandising students at Virginia State University about traditional Gambian techniques he uses to create his unique batik designs.
This West African Symbol:
"BOA ME NA ME MMOA WO"
Means "Help me and let me help you."
It is the cornerstone of our business as it accurately describes the nature of our work. If you look hard you can see this symbol in our logo :).
What We Need & What You Get:
With any contributions we receive (less our goal) it will go to creating job security for our artisans. We want to get them working while offering them assistance with product development, packaging, and educating them on the process of fair trade and the market for their particular products in the global economy.
Here are some of the cool incentives we are giving away for your support:
****FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING IN THE U.S. ON ALL DELIVERABLE PERKS****
****INTERNATIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS PLEASE ADD $19.00 FOR SHIPPING OF "LIFE IS FRAGILE" PERK, DRUM SHIPPING COST FOR INTERNATIONAL SHIPMENTS TBA****
Your contribution WILL make a difference because:
- Any contributions we receive will go directly to creating job security for the 50 artisans we employ and will allow us to get them working on larger orders ASAP;
- 31% of Ghanians live below the poverty line. Your donation can help give 50 artisans a safe place to work while earning a respectable income for their families.
- Creating jobs at home. As our artisans businesses grow--we grow. Reaching our goal means we have to expand here in the U.S. as well by hiring more commission based sales reps to market our artisans goods to the world.
Other Ways You Can Help: