We go to the movies. We watch the news. We read books. We read magazines. We watch youtube videos. We follow people on twitter and instagram. We watch reality TV. We do it all because we love stories. We love connecting to the stories of others, especially when they’re really good ones.
The Intersection is about a story. The story is about a family– our family– the Jaegers. Our names are Dane and Meghann, and for the last number of years we’ve been on a journey. In big and small ways, the journey began long ago with the shaping of our characters and the discovery of faith and the travel we embarked on to different parts of the globe. But specifically this part of the story started in a village in Kenya called Kithituni with a group of women whose families had been ravaged by AIDs. When we met them they had found hope and income through the rolling of paper beads which they made into jewellery.
We loved the story of these women, and their workmanship, and so we bought a whole bunch of jewellery to bring back home to sell to our friends. As we shared their stories with our friends and raised some money to send back to the women we realized that this is what we wanted to do. We wanted to invest our time in connecting people in developing nations with outlets to sell their goods, and in turn connect the stories of people purchasing items with the stories of those who produced them. We wanted to create an intersection at which their stories could meet. We wanted to change the way people thought about what they purchase, and cause them to investigate the origins of their products, and the conditions in which the producers of their products work.
So we started a business. We called it The Intersection: Fair Trade. Our tagline is “At the corner of their story and yours.” Since we began, we’ve been introduced to many many more stories. We’ve found out that everyone knows someone somewhere who could use a platform for their story and their goods, and that there’s a yearning in peoples’ hearts to connect to something greater and know that they are doing good. And so we continue on with our journey to find, learn, and share the stories of those who need to encounter hope and justice.
What we know is that every product has a story, and every purchase has an impact. We may not see it, but there is a ripple from any purchase made anywhere that affects real people in real places. We want to know that that impact is positive. We want to provide or point people to ethical alternatives for every product on the market. Perhaps it is a lofty goal, but perhaps it is a worthy goal.
What we’ve also found is that the stories of fair and ethical trade are stories of hope, of restored dignity, of rescued futures. We’ve encountered cooperatives made up of women who were trafficked for sex slavery and were rescued and given employment. We’ve encountered stories of communities getting water and access to health care through premiums paid back into their communities from the sale of their goods. We’ve heard of children getting a chance at education because there was finally enough income in their family so that they didn’t have to work. These are the stories we want to share. These are the stories we want to intersect with. This is the impact your purchases and ours can have.
Our goal is to combat poverty and injustice by purchasing products from fair trade cooperatives in developing nations. Most of these cooperatives are made up of people who were living in poverty, or who have been rescued from situations like sex trafficking or abuse. They are now being offered employment making products in order to offer them a new life and a new start. We are purchasing these products to sell in the North American market.
We want to connect North American shoppers with quality, ethically sourced Fair Trade items at a reasonable price. Our goal is to provide you with an alternative-- products that you want and would buy anyway, but with origins that you can know and trust. We want products that we can match faces and names and stories to. We want you to know that there are real people who are receiving real benefits for their labour-- ones who were faced with poverty and hopelessness but have now found hope. Would that change the way you shop?