The Big Idea: Through the making and selling of the Secret Pillow – a blanket that folds up into a pillow - Fritha Vincent FRSA shares the secrets of entrepreneurship with women.
I work with groups of women in India who have completed basic job skills training in tailoring and sewing. I run workshops on how to make a charming product called the Secret Pillow – a blanket that folds up into a pillow. On behalf of the women, I sell their Secret Pillows on the world market, achieving an excellent profit margin. For a relatively low risk and for sizeable gain, women get a kickstart to financial independence, as well as experience what it feels like to be successful, creative and independent.
My vision for Secret Pillow Project is simple - I want women’s groups worldwide to have the opportunity to make and sell Secret Pillows. My focus is on women who without this opportunity would struggle either financially or otherwise to start up an income-generating business on their own. I am clear with the women that Secret Pillow Project will not offer them a constant stream of orders and that with their new resources and new perspective they need to diversify and create new income streams. This is already happening with the first group I worked with in India.
This project is about women doing business with women and about consumers buying something because they really want. Neither the way I deal with women nor the way I sell will be heavily influenced by the social cause behind the project. My aim is to work with the women's groups long term to support them to produce set collections that can be sold on the Secret Pillow Project online shop (coming soon!) and in top department stores and boutiques. The sewing techniques will be a subtle celebration of the women’s heritage and culture. I have proven that consumers in the West desire the Secret Pillows; our aim has always been that the Secret Pillows are of the highest quality and good enough to compete with top brands.
I have a busy couple of months ahead. I am about to launch a crowdfunding campaign aiming to get 500 Secret Pillow orders. Thanks to RSA Catalyst I got some great help from RSA Fellow, Stephen Parkes. He was a great source of advice to me and the project and he has kindly said, “Secret Pillow Project is a unique and exciting concept. It was pleased offer marketing advice on Fritha’s Kickstarter campaign strategy.” With the resources the campaign generates I will dedicate time to scaling up this project over the next year as well as delivering beautiful Secret Pillows to my campaign backers. I will fly to Kenya to run my first workshop with African women and am excited about the diversity of fabrics a new continent will offer. I hope during my Africa trip I can celebrate the success of the crowdfunding campaign.
There are two ways you can help me. First, back my Kickstarter campaign by finding my campaign on the RSA Curated Area on Kickstarter and become the proud owner of a Secret Pillow. Secondly get in touch with me if you know a charity working with a women’s group who might be interested in getting involved with the project. This could be either here in UK or overseas.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our Facebook group. Thank you for your interest in the Secret Pillow Project.
Fritha Vincent FRSA
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