Friday, October 01, 2010

A Letter from Jim Neustel: Peacecraft Needs Your Help

(Editor's Note: October is Fair Trade Month, and I would like to take this opportunity to pass on a note from Jim Neustel from Peacecraft.  We need to keep our local fair-trade store viable, and Jim tells you how you can help)

September 8, 2010
For twenty-one years, Peacecraft has provided the Albuquerque community with a Fair Trade option to shopping.  The fair trade producers who supply our store have received a fair wage for their work efforts.  Peacecraft continues to offer a positive economic change in the lives of our producers and their families.  In addition to the direct aid we have given global fair trade communities, many local stores are now offering fair trade products.

Our customers have seen us primarily as a gift store, and we are dependent upon strong holiday sales to sustain us through the remainder of the year. The past two years have been especially challenging. As many of you have seen, Peacecraft’s inventory has slowly decreased over the past year.  We do not have money to purchase the product that we need for the holiday season. This is a dangerous position to be in for a retail store. As we have less to sell, our revenue goes down, leaving less money to buy new product, which in turn results in even fewer sales. We need to break the cycle.

Our goal is to keep Peacecraft open, and this past year’s economy has shown loss in customers, income and increase in debt.  Unless we can raise $60,000.00 in the next two months, we face closure.  

The Plan:
I have worked with the board on a plan that I have faith will keep Peacecraft open and functional.   The plan’s success depends on your help.  The Peacecraft community has consistently purchased product at the store as well as donated money when needed,  and I trust that one (or more) of the following three options will fit your ability to assist Peacecraft at this time.

For those of you who prefer to give a tax-deductible donation, use this link to go to our website, then click on the Donate button.

I believe in the power of micro-lending; it has helped fair trade cooperatives in developing nations.  Now, I’m asking you to micro-lend money to keep Peacecraft in business.  During the month of September you can buy a gift card to be redeemed in December.  If you purchase a $50 card it will be worth $55.  If you buy a $100 card, it will be worth $110 in December. Use this link to go to the website, then click on the Gift Certificate Buy Now button.

I also want to give some of our customers the opportunity to lend a larger amount of money as a pure cash investment.  If you would like to do so, you can lend us $500 or $1000 and receive a 10% pay back in six months starting in March 2011. Use  this link to go to the website then click on the Micro Loan button,

A group of business and non-profit experts, met in August to create a plan of positive change for the store.  We have begun to implement the plan by sub-letting the back portion of the store to Maple Street Dance Space, and we are now carrying some product on a consignment basis.  In addition, we have begun working with experts to up-date the look and feel of the store.  Many of these changes will be easy and inexpensive.   I believe that a new look will attract new customers.

Thank you for your continued support,
Jim Neustel
Earth Hero dba/Peacecraft

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