Women Helping Women through Trade {&Hope!}

Trades of Hope

Megan Easterday is a compassionate entrepreneur with Trades of Hope. I can feel her energy radiate from the computer {& with two jobs, you know the passion is there!}. Through in-person parties, events, fundraisers, and her own personal web page, Megan sells handmade fair trade jewelry and accessories benefitting impoverished women. 

Tell us about Trades of Hope and how sustainability is incorporated into the business.

Trades of Hope is a missional company that works with artisans and their organizations all over the world. Trades of Hope currently partners with 22 artisan groups in 16 different countries, including the USA. We are working to empower women out of poverty, sweat shops, the sex trade and more through creating sustainable businesses with the partner organizations where women make beautiful, handcrafted products, which includes jewelry, scarves, handbags and home decor. 

What is so fantastic about this business model is how sustainable it really is. A lot of the products made are from materials and items found in their home country that would typically be discarded. One example is our Haiti Signature Bracelet. It is made from cereal boxes and clay found in Haiti! I never realized how difficult it really is to make the beautiful bracelets (there's a whole collection including earrings and a necklace) until I thought I would be clever and attempt to do a cereal box bead making demonstration at my business launch party. Not only was it incredibly messy, but the beads did NOT closely resemble the artisan made beads at all! Luckily it was still fun for my guests to try and made a bigger impact on them because it showed the intricate skills needed to make all of our products.

 Megan & her Fall Faves!

Megan & her Fall Faves!

What made you decide to join this business?

I decided to join Trades of Hope as a Compassionate Entrepreneur shortly after I participated in the Dressember Campaign where I wore a dress every day in December to raise funds for the International Justice Mission. IJM works to free people from human and sex-trafficking all over the world while also helping restore those freed back to their community. They also work with local police to restrain the criminals and with public prosecution to represent survivors in court. 

My heart aches for women and children who are victims of the sex trade and I desire to one day work directly with an organization like IJM to be a part of the movement to free them! So when my friend introduced me to Trades of Hope, I knew it would be a perfect fit for my current season of life (newly married gal). By selling the products for these women who are typically affected by extreme poverty, I would be a part of the sustainable business model that would keep them out of a profession (whether forced or chosen) that would require them to sell their own bodies or the bodies of their children. 

What are your favorite fall accessories?

My favorite fall accessories include the Mustard Infinity Scarf made by women in Cambodia, the Shoho Crossbody Bag from Bangladesh, my trusty green trench coat that I've had for years and boots with comfy socks. Also, if coffee counts as an accessory, I guess that would be a favorite too! haha

 Map representing where all the artisans of Trades of Hope are located.

Map representing where all the artisans of Trades of Hope are located.

How do we set up a Trunk Show? 

The way you can set up a party/event/fundraiser with me is by emailing me at megan.tradesofhope@gmail.com. We can do an in-person event or do it online! The creative possibilities are endless!

What are your future plans with Trades of Hope?

I hope that in the future, when children come into the picture for my family, I would be able to use Trades of Hope as my main source of income. It is so wonderfully flexible. The best part? It's not a business focused on how much I can make. It's about being able to empower other women's business endeavors while also being able to provide a source of income for my own family. One thing that struck me recently was hearing about how our artisans know what we are doing in the United States to sell their products and how hard they work to help us provide for our families. How fantastic is that? We really are women helping women. It's cyclical and sustainable.


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Natalie Kay