About Just Connections
Hi I'm Jude, Founder of this Fair Trade and beyond E-commerce site. I have had two other Fair Trade businesses, one a non-profit and one a for-profit.
It all started in the 70's when I was standing at my bathroom sink. My kids were little and the T.V. photos of starving kids in Bangladesh reminded me too much of the things I had seen growing up in Brazil. I remembered a two year old held in his mother's arm, a bundle of skin-covered bones and a skeletal face. I wanted badly to do something about it.
I was living in a gorgeous small town in the mountians of Colorado. I loved my little family and our small house and huge garden that gave us plenty of food. At that moment, I began my search for a way to help which led me to found the first Just Connections. At first I worked through the church I was affiliated with, but there were people there offended by some earings I sold that had machine guns on them. They were made of small seeds beautifully painted by the children of El Salvador who had known nothing but war. Soon after that, I decided to find a way to create my own small business.
That was all before there was such a thing as "Fair Trade,"in the U.S., but in Europe they were already practicing what was called Alternative Trade, so we began a group in this country somewhat modeled after our European couterparts. There was great cooperation among Fair Traders as we would eventually be called. We had a much different idea of what commerce was for. We were meeting needs in many ways. Our products were very unique and we found a ready market for what we were able to bring in from other countries and from places of poverty in this country. Always Fair Trade pays a fair price, one that allows parents to feed, house and educate their families, a price much greater than what they can get locally.
Justice and Unity are the main interests of Just Connections. I am starting with a Fair Trade online store, but my goal is to make a difference through the connections I make here. My intent is ultimately to help create a better world. On the way I will share my discoveries here. We are really one big family, here to help each other on this human journey. Our planet is fragile and wonderful and we are here as stewards of this wonder and each other.
Right now there are only a few of us, but as we discover each here I hope we will begin to create a Commuinty of Caring people of diverse ideas and beliefs. Other than wanting Peace, Love and Justice for all of creation, I do not hold to any particular religious or political prejudices. I have a deep love for the earth and for those around the globe who are suffering injustice, poverty and abuse. Many are right here in our own U.S.A.
I have made connections with some of those who are sufferiing through their Fair Trade Partners. Many of the connections are with Artisans, makers of very gorgeous creations. Most of our products are not only beautiful, but represent deep cultural skills and traditions. These groups are made up of mostly women at the fringes of society. Many have also found ways to utilize what is discarded around them recycling in the best way possible. They often work in very sustainable ways because they use what is being discarded in their environments.
With your help I plan to expand this site so that many different products that benefit the earth and her creatures, human and not, will be available here. I would love any suggestions you can offer.
Each purchace you make here helps sustain a world artisan who would otherwise be impovrished. Most products are sustaining not only those who do the work, but their families and communities. You can find their stories along with their products as you browse Just Connections. Many people have worked in many places to help this happen, but without you our partners who purchase the products, it is just a good idea.
Thanks for stopping by and for your caring perspective. Please feel free to offer suggestions, tell me about yourself or keep me on my toes in a caring way.
Jude Jordan Kalush for Just Connections