November 2012 
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Kim Harmson and Denise Attwood

From The Figtree

Two Spokane women share about their successful ventures in fair trade


Two women who have been friends for more than 25 years represent two parts of the global chain of fair trade-from the earth to producers, wholesalers, retailers to consumers and back to the earth. Denise Attwood, co-owner of Ganesh Himal Trading, is a wholesaler who has built a business with $1.5 million yearly in fair trade retail sales.  The business connects cottage industries and development projects for Tibetan refugees and women in Nepal with 250 retailers around the United States.


Kim Harmson, owner of Kizuri, a fair trade retail outlet in the Community Building at 35 W. Main has the shop that had roots in the nonprofit Global Folk Art and now sells items from 40 cultures. Kizuri has grown from a business of $155,000 in 2008 to $253,778 in 2011.  This growth has allowed the store to work with more artisan groups, double its inventory, hire part-time employees and make more than $21,000 in donations to nonprofits both locally and globally. 

Both experienced growth through the economic downturn.  They operate outside the traditional business model.

At a recent Spokane City Forum at First Presbyterian Church, they invited people to become consumers of fair trade products.  Purchases cycle back through the retail-wholesale chain to producers whose lives and communities improve as they educate their children, gain access to medical care and provide food, shelter and clothing for their families.


Beyond that, Denise and Kim said producers catch an entrepreneurial spirit and use savings to invite others, usually women, to earn a living by producing traditional and nontraditional products. Read more here....




More from The Fig Tree

Ganesh Himal Trading launches scholarship project to support education opportunities for girls in Nepal


As part of the annual Fair Trade Festival and inspired by PBS showing "Half the Sky" about the desire for girls and women to be educated, Ganesh Himal will launch "The Power of Five" to raise funds for the Girl Child Education Fund of the Association for Craft Producers (ACP) in Nepal to provide scholarships so girls can attend school. 

The ACP works with marginalized women to help them gain skills, live lives of dignity, gain control of their earnings and provide education for their daughters.

"Many girls have been able to stay in school because of these scholarships, but, in February 2012, Ric and I met with two girls who had finished their three years of scholarships and were unable to continue because their father lost his income and no scholarship money was available," she said.  

Ganesh Himal seeks to reach 900 people to raise $4,500 to fund scholarships for more than 100 children of fair trade producers at ACP in Kathmandu, Nepal. Read more here...




Denise Attwood
Join our POWER OF FIVE Community, and help send a girl in Nepal to school.
Last month I watched the film "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide" on PBS. It was amazing to see what women are doing under the most difficult circumstances. As I turned off the program I was struck by the thought that many people want to help but the problems seem so big and so expensive and they don't know where to plug in. Then I realized that at Ganesh Himal Trading we have a place where people can plug in, right now and can make a difference in girls lives in Nepal.  The Girl Child Education Fund at the Association for Craft Producers in Kathmandu has been a project of ours that we have felt passionate about for many years.They give educational scholarships to over 100 girls, but the problem is they only have enough money to fund 3 years of scholarships for each girl.  


We want to change that. We want to help them reach their goal of providing scholarships to girls for all 12 years of their education, but to do that we need your help! All it takes is $

5 for a person here to pay for a month's scholarship that would keep a little girl in school in Nepal.  This is something many people can do and it will have a huge impact on these girls' lives. Our goal is to reach 1000 people and ask them to donate $5.  In return they receive a beautiful bookmark and the knowledge that they have continued the education of a girl in Nepal for one more month. We are launching this project as THE POWER OF 5 and we'll keep you updated on how it is going.  Look on our website to find out how as a store, you can become involved, and together we can reach this goal, $5 at a time. Better yet, join our Power of Five Community and by becoming a member of our Facebook group here


We were able to finish the Lagankhal Weaving workshop rebuild with your help and it was such a great feeling to do this together as a community. We hope you'll be as inspired as we are right now to support the direct education of girls in Nepal! Happy Holidays, 

FEATURED products  
for more visit our website    
Musical Angels, in a box!
OR-NK-MA $6.50 

 More Angels, in a box! 
OR-NK-GWA $5.00


The Power of Five 


While in Nepal last February, Denise had the opportunity to meet with two recipients of the ACP Girl Child Education Fund.  Sisters Heema, 16, and Heena, 10, had both been on scholarship for 3 years and loved school, but their scholarships were ending. Due to high demand and lack of funds, ACP cannot guarantee scholarships longer than 3 years for the children of their producers. Determined to extend Heema and Heena's scholarships, we at Ganesh Himal each donated $5 with the dream that we could get 1000 people to do the same.
The Power of 5 campaign was born.
What can $5 do? It can buy you a coffee, or a hamburger. It can buy you a gallon of gas. Or, it can help a girl in Nepal attend school for one month. That means that for 20 days a young girl is reading, writing, learning with her friends, and stretching her imagination.  What happens if she isn't at school?  She is three times more likely to be married before her 18th birthday.  She stays at home, and the traditional cycle of exclusion that keeps girls disengaged from decision making continues. $5 helps a young girl battle the cycle of poverty. 

Now imagine if all of your friends gave $5. Then they asked all of their friends to donate $5?  10 friends donating $5 is a scholarship for one girl to go to school for an entire year.  That's a ripple--an ever-expanding body of people changing the lives of girls in Nepal.  And the ripple doesn't stop there.  These girls each create their own ripples of change starting with their families, then their village, and even their country.  When 10% more girls go to school, a country's GDP increases an average of 3% according to the Council of Foreign Relations. That affects the world.  The ripple is limitless, and it starts with $5. This is the Power of 5. 

Our goal is to sponsor 100 girls in Nepal for one more year of schooling through the ACP Girl Child Education Fund.  In order to do so, we need 900 people to donate $5.  We've created beautiful bookmarks for you to sell. By selling these bookmarks in your store, you not only help us reach our goal, but you start the discussion about why girls are such an amazing investment.

There are two ways of creating a ripple:

Personal Ripple-
Sell individual bookmarks at your store for a donation of $5 each.  Customers can get involved as individuals and feel good knowing that 100% of their donation is going towards the ACP Girl Education Fund.

Power of 5 Ripple-
Encourage friends/regular customers/community members to take a packet of bookmarks (either 5, 15, or 30) to sell amongst their friends.  If each person finds 5 friends who turn around and find 5 friends, then through networking, the ripple multiplies by the power of 5.  Funds would be returned to your store, creating community and exposing new people to the world of Fair Trade.

Join the Power of 5 campaign today. Here's how...
1) Request a packet of bookmarks via the Ganesh Himal website shopping cart. If you want to participate in the "Power of 5 Ripple", then order multiple smaller packets; if "Personal Ripple" better suits your store, then order one large packet.
2) We will issue you an invoice for the number of bookmarks you want and send them with your next order.
3) You sell the bookmarks and write a check to Ganesh Himal for the amount sold with "donation" written on the memo line.
4) 100% of donations will go directly to ACP and the Girl Child Education Fund in Nepal.
If each of us gives a little, it's no longer pocket change but big change: JOIN THE POWER OF 5!
For signs for your store, or for a donation jar:
Sign 1
Sign 2  
facebooklogoTo join The Power of Five Community, join our FACEBOOK GROUP.
Learn more about why it's important to educate girls at the Girl Rising Website