Friday, July 24, 2015

A Day in the Life of a Mzuribeads Board Member

A Day in the Life of a Mzuribeads Board Member

My name is Sharon, and some of you might know me from my days as the operator of the Mzuribeads UK online store. These days I have my hands full looking after my two small children so I no longer sell Mzuribeads, but I have stepped into an extremely interesting and rewarding role as a member of Mzuribeads’ Voluntary Management Board. 

The Board met earlier this week in Angus and Eleni’s lovely tenement flat in Edinburgh. Their flat is an eclectic mix of objects that range from bicycles hanging from the ceiling, to paper framed mirrors (very apt for people who sell paper beads), to Gustav Klimt art on the walls…..a home that tells a story of their travels and passion for all that is unique and wonderful in the world. This week we were looked after with a delicious mug of green tea, a bowl of fresh popcorn and some delicious chocolate Brownies (yes, I admit it, I ate two of them!!). 

But their lovely flat and delicious refreshments are not the only reason I make the two hour journey through rush hour traffic from Glasgow to Edinburgh to join these meetings every few months. The Board is a group of 6, soon to be 7 lovely people (Angus, Eleni, Tom, Kathleen, Alicemyself, and soon to be Debbie) who are full of ideas and enthusiasm to reinvigorate the Mzuribeads business and help our beading team in Ndejje build a strong, sustainable co-operative business that transforms their lives….to enable them to move from a life of poverty and hand to mouth existence to one where they have a reliable income, a secure future and are able to enjoy the luxury that many of us take for granted…..the ability to transform some of their hopes and dreams for their own and their children’s futures into reality. Mzuribeads are not just beautiful beads that produce beautiful jewellery. They also have the potential to build beautiful futures for the Mzuriwomen and their families. 

This Board meeting was a very exciting one. All the hard work of the volunteers during the first half of the year has paid off and we have received two large orders this week. Not only that, one of these orders is from our new Sales Partner in Australia. For the volunteers and the women in Ndejje, this is an exciting development as the more Sales Partners we have, the more we can spread the word about our wonderful beads and the bigger we can grow. And for our Australian customers, they can look forward to being able to buy our beads closer to home in the coming months when Christine gets her online Etsy store up and running. That means lower postage costs and faster delivery of your eagerly awaited bead order. Watch this space for more info on the beads’ arrival in Oz. 

So, back home to my family in Glasgow and I am armed with my action points to help ensure that the next meeting has such exciting news. For me, I have two main goals in the coming months. Firstly I will be supporting Christine to get her new Mzuribeads venture up and running in Australia. And secondlyI am on a mission to find another budding entrepreneur with a passion for our wonderful ethical beads right here in the UK to become our newest Sales Partner. Could this be you? If you think you might just be the person, then drop me a line at I’ll be eagerly awaiting your email!
Happy beading everyone!

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