Become part of our Ripple Effect
Become part of our Ripple Effect
As a result of a single event, ripples expand in ever increasing circles, reaching unexpected places. I started Secret Pillow Project in July 2013 to unfold women’s power through the making and selling of Secret Pillows, a snuggly blanket that folds up into a charming pillow. The enthusiasm, determination, and skill of the women I connected with and trained in South India to make the pillows, and the demand for the pillows from my network propelled the project forward, resulting in 700 SAMPLE Secret Pillows being bought within six months. These SAMPLE Secret Pillows have arrived in the UK. Our wonderful customers have chosen their favourite fabric designs and they are being sent out or collected.
SAMPLE Secret Pillows are special because the production starts women off on a new journey towards financial independence. We tell our customers the story about a new group of women we want to work with and their pre-order helps make it a reality. For every 3 pre-orders we can invite another woman to take up a place in our empowerment workshop and provide her with a monetary advance to buy materials. Because the product is pre-sold the women can participate at minimal risk. Quite simply: our customers create opportunities.
I returned to India last November as part of my celebration of Secret Pillow Project's first crowd funding campaign, Discover the Secret of the Pillows. This campaign has given 100 women a sound return for work over a period of 7 months. That’s right - £12,000 paid out in total for Secret Pillow production. I was keen to ask the women the question which was burning in everyone's mind - what were they going to spend their earnings money on? I assumed they would spend most of it on themselves and their families and I hoped they would keep a little back within their women’s group bank accounts to invest in future production of Secret Pillows and / or other money-making ventures.
Their answers to my question surprised me and their POWER bowled me over.
The women described how life was different for them since becoming Secret Pillow Producers. People looked up when they walked in the room, enquired how production was going and asked their advice on business matters. They walked taller, spoke louder, and they had started to dream. Their dreams were not about what they could do for themselves, they dreamt of helping others. “We never imagined we would have our own money to use in the way we choose. But now we have the know-how and support, we want to help others. We know there are many other women in our communities who need to feel their POWER. We want to empower them, Fritha.”
I was overwhelmed. We shared the same dream.
So they wanted to train more women within the same community? This was not my plan. I was expecting to send out expert sewers as volunteers from UK to run the Secret Pillow workshops as I had done and to create a geographical spread of women's groups across India rather than concentrating in certain places. This was explained to the women. They smiled and then used the Secret Pillow POWER Mantra to help me see some business sense.
“Fritha, you must THINK”, they said. "We can empower and train women here in India and you can use the money you save from the numerous trips to India to tell our story to the rest of the world."
"Fritha, we BELIEVE in you and in our customers. Go back to the UK and share the beautiful fabrics we have chosen for the Secret Pillows with our customers. They will be happy and amazed. Then tell them what we want to do. Please ask them to tell their friends about the project and ask them to pre-order a SAMPLE Secret Pillow so that WE can empower more women in our communities."
So, on behalf of our incredible producers, I ask you to help us help more women...
- Ask a friend who shares your passion for women’s empowerment, to pre-order a SAMPLE Secret Pillow for £40 including VAT & UK postage or £50 including VAT & International postage.
- Share, tweet or email the link to your network and invite them to buy a SAMPLE http://www.secretpillow.org.uk/collections/pre-order-sample-secret-pillow
- Host a Secret Pillow Party at your home and inspire 6 friends to pre-order a SAMPLE Secret Pillow. (Secret Pillow Party pack available on request / or Fritha can come if you live with 20 miles of London).
For every 3 SAMPLE Secret Pillow pre-orders a woman will be able to attend a workshop.
If you have any questions, please phone me on +44 (0)7824 999675.
With deep gratitude