Year end review means pouring over a lot of numbers, counting the costs and accomplishments of this movement to which we all belong. As always, I want to share the numbers with you, because you ARE the motor in the movement!
In the past year, we grew from working with 79 artisan groups to 121. Of those, we actively sent funds to 101 groups for their work. With the other 20, we’ve developed a conversation about future collaboration based on work they’ve done for us in the past.
Through your sales, we tripled the money sent to artisans over last year to $651,520.79 - and tripled the impact of our work.
Through your networking and outreach, we reached a wider audience in this country, doubling our base of allies and tripling the number of people who track the movement on social media. We found new allies across the country when you hosted Ibu for 13 Trunk Shows and Boutiques from New York to Dallas, all overseen by our capable Event Manager, Austin Walker.
Ibu received the great good will of two amazing Ambassadors who designed memorable collections that you loved and traveled with our team to take our work to new markets. Our gratitude for the selfless contributions of Ali MacGraw and Charlotte Moss is boundless.
More than 40 national and regional publications have spread the word about the movement, including the New York Times, Oprah, Women’s Wear Daily, Veranda, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Town and Country, and regional reaches in Manhattan, Austin, Phoenix, Hamptons, Greenwich, and New Jersey Magazines. Not to mention a roaring shout-out in Man Repeller.
The Showroom continues to anchor our work in Charleston, where it was named one of the South’s Best Boutiques by Southern Living, led by our stellar Showroom Manager and Buyer, Marisa Nemirow and her sales staff.
The ibumovement.com website has grown as national awareness grows, increasing its sales by 350%.
The Ibu studio has grown, adding 2 designers, 3 seamstresses and 3 jewelry makers to keep up with demand, all under Jamie Buskey’s strong supervision of Production.
Numbers do not say it all, of course. Week by week, we live by the stories, and tell them here in Ibulliance so that you can know intimately the women who lead this movement, from Wafae and Amina in Sefrou → Sidney and the Navajo in New Mexico → Yasmin in Colombia → Muyaho in Uzbekistan → Mary in South Sudan and hundreds more. These women are the pulse and passion behind the movement. They are affording health care that otherwise never would have been available . . . we hear stories of stubborn difficulties healed that otherwise would have led to long years of travail. They are encouraging their daughters to attend not only school, but colleges. They are building homes for their families, then spear-heading clean water facilities for their communities. Above all, they are finding self-respect through their skills, because their skills are valued by women across the world at Ibu . . . that is, by you.
Coming soon, I’ll be asking for your input as we move into the next year. Possibilities abound. Please get ready to weigh in. I love nothing more than moving together with you in this work, together feeding this great groundswell of creativity, and putting new earnings into the hands of women, where it is needed most.
Cheers to 2017, with great mountains of gratitude, and an equal clamor up the hilltops where lives our hope ~
all the best,