Saturday, March 14, 2009

What Guides Your Personal and Business Choices?

For me, it is adding value to the lives of others in any way I can. Whether choosing a jewelry designer or writing the first book in the Gems of Wisdom series, I am driven to make my decisions based on the effect and reach that choice will have on the future and my life's legacy.

I have been working with Pamba Toto Jewelry to design a specific line for Gems of Wisdom. I asked lots of questions, but ultimately chose this company because of the effective change they are creating not only in Kenya, but around the world. Yes, I wanted unusual pieces. Yes, I wanted to provide quality and value. More important though, I felt the pull toward making a choice that would involve adding value to the lives of others.

These are children in the Mathare Valley Slum in Kenya. The volunteer is on a mission with an organization that leads a group into this area every summer.

Pamba Toto Jewelry came out of hearts of two women wanting to make a bigger imprint on the lives they could reach. The children in Kenya and Third World single moms trying to keep their kids. These moms may live in Greece, hill tribes of Thailand, Ghana, Kenya, or any other under developed nation with less than fair situations for women in the workplace. Many are starving and either watch their children die or have to give them up. Fair Trade companies now teaches ceramic bead making, sterling silver workmanship and how to run a small family business so these women receive honest pay for a day's work. And I get to be a part of that mission as well as draw lovely others into being a part of that by supporting the sales of Fair Trade and the Sanctuary of Hope orphanages in Nairobi.

Not only do they take the children into a home with a mother and father,but they are encouraged to make that their home. (I know one couple is a local Kenyan pastor and his wife who accepted the call as their mission field. They could have pastored a church, but they chose to raise up the next generation!)The second orphanage was only able to start because of the profits Pamba Toto earned. And that excites me!

These kiddos are often orphaned in the slums. Pamba Toto has already established two orphanages from the proceeds of their jewelry sales with more planned. Ten or so children per home complete with real parents and not overwhelmed staff as in state run orphanages. More to come? That's a mission I want to be part of with Gems of Wisdom.

By using a company that has an amazing impact on the lives of Kenyan orphans and single moms paid through Fair Trade bead making, I am able to provide a superior gemstone line of necklaces, earrings and bracelets to my customers.

I could have chosen anyone, any company based on price. Sure. But I choose the company that can provide the essence of life to people around the world. Now I have a small ripple effect too. My choices add value to other people's lives.

One other tidbit: All Pamba Toto jewelry is one of a kind and numbered for collectors. You can visit their site and see the samples that your pieces will closely resemble made with a myriad of real gems and creative artisan workmanship. It's spectacular.

I'm proud to announce Pamba Toto is my new supplier for the Gems of Wisdom premium line of jewelry. I'm working hard with my web guru to create links on my website (due for public release in April) as he works on an entirely new website for the Gems of Wisdom business. I am so excited! The new website's target date is July 1st.

What guides my personal and business choices? The long term goals that seem to be built into my DNA. I measure each decision against those parameters. If the choice would take me off on a tangent, I don't do it. I think about the legacy I want to leave behind.

Have you determined the legacy you want to leave behind?

Do you measure your choices against that yard stick?

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