My recent collaboration was with Fritha and Secret Projects. Her team had kindly sent me the SECRET PILLOW. Secret Pillows are craft items made by women in India who face social and economic challenges. The money they earn through the making and selling of Secret Pillows enables them to pay for their child's education, food, medicine, and other essentials. The women are affiliated to an NGO or charity that provides a safe space in which they come together to receive training, support, and materials to produce Secret Pillows. These groups of women are called Maker Networks and Secret Projects currently work with Maker Networks in six Indian states.
I was super delighted to be able to communicate with Fritha - CEO of Secret Projects and ask her a few questions that she was able to answer.
1) What is the most stressful part about working for Women Empowerment?
The most stressful part is the complexity of working in India and reaching smaller communities. However, our business is designed to overcome these complexities and make our mission to empower women completely possible, so it's hugely rewarding when it works. As our business develops things will become more streamlined.
2) What has been the most significant barrier to your career?
The barrier I face time and time again is finding the right people to work with. To be on my team you need to be resilient, flexible, focused and hard-working. But above all, you need to be able to persist continuously. It never stops! If what we did was easier, others would have worked out the solution by now.
3) Do you think the mentality towards women around the world is the same?
No, it's not. My biggest call on this subject is to women who do enjoy the empowerment and equality. Don't worry about the little imbalances that face you, worry about the huge imbalances your sister faces elsewhere. We can all share our power with women that don't have as much. If we share our power with them, they will share it on. That is how we are going to reach the hardest to hard to reach women. We must create a network of women across the world that we can share power through its web.
4) Who are your icons?
My heroes are Princess Diana and Anika Rice. Diana did things differently and got good results, Anika was unashamed of her incredible energy and zest for life. She learned how to make a career and income from it.
5) Where did you get the idea of starting Secret Projects?
Having travelled extensively in India, through many isolated communities, I learned of an issue that affects women around the continent. The women that I met in these communities had been taught to stitch at home and school as girls and could produce the most beautiful clothing and homeware. What they lacked was the knowledge needed to sell their goods either at home, in India or on the international market and earn an income from their expertise to support themselves and their families. When I learned of this problem, I felt compelled to solve this selling obstacle and, in 2013, Secret Projects was born.
6) Are you a Feminist?
Sure. But it is a loaded and complicated word. I hate words like that.
From this interview, I have learned a lot about Fritha and Secret Projects but also to use my power to help others. As it has been said," When Women Support Eachother Incredible Things Happen."