Sustainable income

Dolls of color, natural fiber

Many of you have already contributed to our on-line campaign to raise money to finish the Zambezi doll makers website. We still have a ways to go and difficult work ahead so we ask that you consider a gift to the on-line campaign or purchasing a doll from the website that can now securely accept credit and debit cards through PayPal.

http://zambezidolls.com

If you want to boost morale and income for the Zambezi ladies, please look at their selection of dolls, in all their diversity, and purchase one or a family of dolls, for someone who would appreciate the variety of skin tone.

You could do this for mother’s day and we will write your mother a note if you include her name and address in the special instructions part of the order.

There is a heap of editing needed in the copy on our fledgling website, which we are slowly getting to, so please ignore the typos and grammatical errors. Getting everyone on board with writing content and marketing is a huge learning curve, but we improve  each day and finally our payment system is reliable.

With your help, this site will reach kind and tolerant people all over the world, like yourselves, who agree that this world needs a doll that represents every kind of person and every combination of colors in a family.

Youcaring.com:

http://www.youcaring.com/HelpZambeziDollCompanyFly

Thank you, once again.

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Thank you for Believing in Us

by Marsha Winsryg

We have put all of our time and energy into getting the Zambezi Doll on-line store up and running. When we ran into snags with the credit card payment company and marketing challenges, I didn’t know how we would be able to work these things out and continue to pay salaries and other expenses until sales could cover them. How would we get to the sought after “break even” point? More importantly, how could we stop now that so many people had worked for so long and achieved so much? How could we fail them now?

So I started a crowd-sourced fundraising campaign through Youcaring.com, praying that many of our friends and well-wishers would contribute something, anything, and that this would add up to enough to sustain us until we could swim on our own.

It worked!! We have raised half of the money in a week!

We are so grateful at the out-pouring of contributions. It is a wonderful feeling to be supported by all of you in our efforts to create steady and meaningful work for these women who have worked hard to achieve skills and independence. It takes a village.

With humble thanks for your generosity and faith,

Marsha

http://www.youcaring.com/HelpZambeziDollCompanyFly

 

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After eight years working on this project, the Zambezi doll makers of Livingstone, Zambia have established the Zambezi Doll Cooperative, their own independent, women-owned non profit designed to create income security for these women with disabled children. Please help us sustain our new business while we develop marketing strategies and build our clientele. Buy a doll or two, and send friends with children to this page or to the women’s website. 

http://zambezidolls.com.

Many thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Piece #3 The Doll ChallengeZambezi doll company

So we set them a challenge: Could they produce ten perfect dolls in one day?

The women were so up for it. They set to work immediately, Magdalene cutting out the body pattern, Mary sewing the body seams, Olipa stuffing, Nophreen embroidering the facial features, Charity and Exhilda fashioning wigs and hairstyles, Rosemary customizing clothes, Pauline making earrings and decoration. Annie and Ivy are chosen to cook both for the Mama Bakhita children’s lunch and for the women themselves.Originally it had been Nophreen, Rosemary and Charity who were scheduled to cook today, but when the challenge was issued, the women knew that they would be at a disadvantage without the skillful threesome. The group decided that Annie and Ivy, the least skilled among them, should cook so that the others could work at full speed. They seemed not to resent this.

Meanwhile, Sydney, Chembo and I spent many hours at a bank located in a grocery store applying for a bank account for our half of the business called “Handmade in Zambia”, also a non profit. It had taken us a long time to realize that we needed a business to market the dolls. I had always assumed that we could set up a subsidiary of the AACDP in Livingstone with Sydney at its head, but when we went to PACRA, (which stands for Patents and Companies Registration Agency)
At the hydro pool/doll workshop* we set up a photo shoot studio. Sydney has been pouring over internet articles for advice and we are experimenting ways to take good photos of the dolls. It is not easy, but we are improving.

The unspoken piece is that our responsibility is to sell 200 dolls a month to actually reach that break-even point.

But I have faith in the sales team of Chembo, Victor, Susan and Sydney. We have discussed our markets:
-Families interested in un-sexy (friendly?) and beautifully hand crafted (anti-Barbie) dolls of color, each one unique and made of natural materials.
-Organizations such as schools, hospitals, museum gift shops and doctors who might be interested in having appealing dolls of color in their waiting.

At the close of the working day I remembered our challenge. The women had not forgotten, of course, and were looking very pleased with themselves, when Chembo announced that 17 perfect dolls had been produced in one day, albeit, a long day. This was very good news because it indicated that we could meet our break-even point of 200 dolls a month.

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