A year ago today we launched this little social enterprise of ours, and what an exciting year it’s been! Starting unikati & co has been a dream of ours for a long time, so watching it manifest into reality has been almost surreal. We know that the words grateful and blessed are often overused, but those really are the best words to describe how we feel. In our first year we had the opportunity to partner with 18 organizations, in 12 countries, who work with hundreds of artisans. We've also been able to educate thousands of people about our artisans, and the diseases, wars, genocides and natural disasters that they've survived.
While unikati & co is all about empowering artisans through meaningful work, we also welcome opportunities to support local and international charities or causes that we believe in. We're proud to say that in 2014, we donated $2,283 in funds and goods to these wonderful organizations.
We want to take a moment to address other wannabe entrepreneurs, who are on the fence about taking the plunge. We encourage you to go ahead and pursue your passion. If you're risk adverse (like we are) you can keep your day job and start your passion project on this side. This is what we did. Of course, you should know that it will be a lot of work, probably more work than you can imagine. And yes, there will be moments of frustration, anxiety and self-doubt. There will also be many a sleepless night. However, you’ll also experience excitement, pride, challenge and success. Whether you succeed or fail, it will still be worth it. If you never try, you’ll always wonder “what if”. Life's too short for "what ifs". At least that's how we feel.
We really couldn't have done this alone. In fact, growing our network has been almost as exciting as growing our business. We had the opportunity to work with Toronto10 on our photos shoots, collaborate with My Edit on a lookbook, and work with some beautiful (both inside and out) models. Our friends at LYstudio (website coming soon) designed our new snazzy logo and helped us with our first ever booth at the National Women’s Show. Another friend, Leaves of Trees lent us her retail space for our first pop up shop and Canadian fashion blogger Hello Elo, helped us get into our first fashion magazine, Clin D’oeil. (Clearly year one was full of firsts!) Finally, we've received support from Canadian fashion bloggers, features in different media outlets, and tons of positive feedback from our customers. We know that to established companies these are small things, but as a young start up we're all about celebrating our small (but significant) successes.
As we enter year two and start to place orders for our exciting spring-summer 2015 collection we want to thank you, our customers, for your continued support. We constantly strive to bring you what you love to wear, at a fair price, and with a story you are proud to share! Thank you for joining us on this journey.
Leila & Dina
PS: Take a minute to check out our anniversary sale! It's your last chance to snag these great pieces at a reduced price. Remember, the more we sell, the more orders we can place, and the more artisans we can empower.