re-posted from July 3, 2009
It was over some caffeine at Good African Coffee that I hashed out the
final details of the lease and signed off, passing the thick document
back to Norbert, my new landlord. He was heading off to Gulu that
afternoon with a truck full of tile to get working on finishing up the
building in time for our move-in date - July 1.
I came across this compound last year while working on a consulting assignment - back then it was broken down and a different shade of Easter egg - bright blue - with lots of stains from the rainy season. I never forgot the place, and while working on another consultancy this year, I stopped by again. It's just outside town, and totally spacious, and Norbert was making great strides in the renovation. The modernist building was constructed during the 70s, and sits between ACDI/VOCA's food security program office and a bombed out building that housed a soldiers mess hall during Amin's regime.
It's about a 20 minute walk from downtown Gulu, but just far enough outside the hustle and bustle that there's a definitive peacefulness in the air - a noisy quiet that is so seldom found, combined with a golden hue from the setting sun and the whispering breeze through the leafy trees in the back. The place just has something about it...what a magical place to work. We have some big plans for the space, so stay tuned.
Greater Good is providing support on the rent, and coinciding with the move in, we're starting up training and production of an exclusive line of organic cotton knit apparel for Global Girlfriend.
re-posted from March 30, 2009
I met Tim Kunin, CEO and co-founder of greatergood.com
at the California Gift Show in Los Angeles. Tim was the shining star
in an otherwise depressing four days in the basement of the LA Convention Center.
After talking fair trade over Brazilian BBQ in LA, we've since walked
the grounds of the NY Gift Show in New York City, shared a 9-hour bus
ride from Kigali to Kampala, and battled tsetse flies on the journey from Murchison Falls to Kampala.
Greater Good is a network of websites (thehungersite.com is one of them) that raise money for various causes. There are a number of ways that they do this, but one of the most significant is through retail sales. The Greater Good team travels the world looking for unique fair trade crafts. They then purchase them wholesale and sell them in their online marketplace, giving a portion of the proceeds to the various causes they support.
Greater Good is now One Mango Tree's biggest customer, and Tim spent a couple of days in Gulu with the tailors, brainstorming some new product ideas and visiting potential sites for our production facility. He also got a taste of the Acholi culture with a dinner out at Lucy's place - complete with cassava, malakwang, millet bread and lots of beef and chicken stew.
Check out some of Greater Good's sites, and be on the lookout for One Mango Tree products - the ladies in Gulu are hard at work on their first order!