EARTH DIVAS ABOUT US
My name is Ed Edmundson, I'm the owner of Earth Divas, a fair trade company that is 100% focused on providing women in the developing world opportunities to earn a decent wage. We are unlike most businesses in that we exist not to make a profit. Our goal is to pay artisans as much as we can, and if we do show a profit, we give 100% of it to the artisans.
As the owner, I do not take a salary and I'm not paid any compensation. Since we started in 2004, I've only contributed money and my time to the business so it can grow. My wife Tina works for Marriott and earns enough to pay the bills, and then some. I worked in the internet industry from 1995 until 2001 and made money - all of which I've since invested in Earth Divas.
I'm the only employee at Earth Divas. All warehousing, packing and shipping, and customer service is handled by RML (RMLsite.com) for a minimal monthly fee. Without RML we could not exist. All sales reps work from home, and earn much less working for Earth Divas than they could any where else. All vendors who work with us offer significant discounts because we are all part of this mission.
Our goal is to provide the broadest range of the best designed, highest quality products that we can make. We ship by sea to keep our cost low. I visit Nepal two to three times a year to work on new designs, and improve quality and consistency.
Connection to Artisans
Our goal is to connect customers in the USA to the Artisans in Nepal to demonstrate the tangible and direct benefit that their purchase makes. Our new hangtags are a start, but in 2013 we hope to make major improvements in this area using social media and the internet.
In Nepal and throughout the developing world most craft items are made by women, and by hand. Men typically work with sewing machines and earn 5 to 10 times more than women. We've always worked with women owned and/or managed businesses, who primarily hire women to make the products. But in 2011 we created a tailoring school for women. We leased a building, bought six sewing machines, a generator, fabric and working with Beni from HeedNepal.org we hired a master tailor and paid women to attend classes five days a week for six months. We're now focused on finding them jobs within our artisan community, and will start a new session with six new ladies soon.
Our focus is Nepal. By concentrating on one country, we can make a huge difference in the lives of hundreds of women. Our family is moving to India in July of 2013, and I'll lease an apartment in Nepal to focus on improving our artisan production capabilities. We partner with SpeedTrust and Creative Handicrafts in India, and over time the goal is to expand to other countries.
Consumers in the USA appreciate and value companies and products that meaningfully benefit a cause that is important to them. The price and quality must be comparable, but when they are, the customer will purchase the product that helps make this world a better place.
Fair Trade Federation
We are proud members of the Fair Trade Federation, and we urge you to support all members, and help us share the benefits of buying fair trade products.
Thank you for supporting Earth Divas, the women of Nepal, and the fair trade movement in general. You are the key to our success and we will do everything we can to be the best supplier you have.