Do it for the joy
If you followed your joy, where would it lead you? To unexpected places perhaps. One night a few months ago, I was distracting myself from writing by doing a spot of online shopping: a wonderful distraction if there ever was one. I was looking for small pouches, little zip up canvas bags, for my essential oils, when I landed on a page with the most exquisite bags I had ever seen. They were hand sewn, brightly coloured, with intricate textiles. On browsing further, I discovered that the bags were in fact fair trade, made by a tribe of women deep in the hills of Thailand, artisans using ancient tribal techniques and vintage fabrics. I was in love.
You could only purchase these bags wholesale, and before I knew it, I had opened a wholesale account and was busily filling up my cart with dozens of pouches, clutches and handbags. Far too many for my own personal use, even by my sometimes binge worthy standards, I started to have a wild idea: I would sell them on my website, to support these women in Thailand and bring beauty into women’s lives. Who wouldn’t want one of these incredible bags in their life, I wondered to myself.
As I felt the joy rising in my heart and yet also saw the dollars rising in my shopping cart, I thought I’d better check myself. So I texted my friend Justine.
“Hey, tell me if I’m completely bonking mad will you? I’ve found this website that has wholesale fair trade bags that are utterly beautiful, and support women artisans. I am about to buy about 65 pieces to sell to clients and on my website. Am I freaking crazy? Well, crazier than usual? Please tell me if I am,” I texted, also sending her a picture of one of my favourite bags.
Instantly she came back, “Oh my goodness! These are amazing. No you are not crazy. You see something here. You want to bring it into your world and for your community. You have a unique sense of things. You have a great eye. It fits with your mission to help women rise. Go for it! And I want at least one!!” Bless her, I thought to myself, she totally gets me.
It made no sense in the rational scheme of things. There was no real money to be made selling purses, I mean, not a lot of profit in that. I didn’t want to be in the distribution business, with shopping carts and online orders and distribution and the post office. Come on, I thought.
And yet. I saw my own fashion label printed on beautiful organic white cotton. I saw swing tags and pouches wrapped in gorgeous organic reusable bags. I saw the smiles of women as they opened the package, squealing with delight at the colours and fabrics. I saw women in the tribal communities feeding their families and nurturing their communities.
It was just sheer joy. The colour, the prettiness, the possibilities, the women. Sheer and utter joy.
So I followed the inspiration. I did it simply for the joy. I started the label Sacred. I placed another order, and then another, and put them up on my website Sacred Living Co as a limited edition offering, playing for endless hours on the design and sourcing, products and labelling. And I loved every single second of it.
Where can you follow the joy in your life? What is waiting for you to play, purely for the joy that it will bring you and maybe others as well?
What can you do simply for the joy?
I do it for the joy.
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Photo Credit : Brooke Cagle