“I am honored to be a part of a community of people who really understand that we can all make a difference.” -Llenay Ferretti
As a leader in the ethical retail industry for 70 years and an FTF founding member, Ten Thousand Villages kicked off this year’s conference & expo. Their Acting CEO Llenay Feretti generously shared their recent research in retail trends, the industry, and consumers with the FTF community.
Liz Forkin Bohannon, Co-Founder & CFO of Sseko Designs, imparted the importance of design thinking to the development of Sseko Designs over its ten years of business. She encouraged and inspired fair trade enterprises to jump in with new ideas and to not being afraid of shifting directions, allowing your enterprise to evolve as you experiment and listen to consumer demand.
“I want to see a world where the term fair trade ceases to exist because I believe fair trade values need to be the norm.” – Molly Stillman
Molly Stillman, Founder & Creator of Still Being Molly, has interviewed over 100 mission-driven enterprises for her podcast Business with Purpose. With this insight, Molly shared three ways in which she sees a need for fair trade enterprises to adapt to the new reality of the rapidly growing ethical retail industry by shifting their messaging, branding, and marketing strategies. She challenged brands to think about the future of their business in a world where fair trade is the norm.
Primary conference sponsor and Austin-based business, Noonday Collection, lead us into day two with a moving speech from their Founder and Co-CEO Jessica Honegger. Jessica inspired attendees to lead their businesses with vision, belief, and passion and to support each other.
“It really is in our togetherness that we make our impact.” -Jessica Honnegger
Throughout the conference, members and non-members gave input into the future of our community and proposed ideas through interactive and engaging sessions at the FTF annual meeting and during the breakout sessions and open forums. At the annual meeting, FTF Executive Director Chris Solt and Board Members also shared highlights from the past year of the FTF and the health of our community and the movement. The meeting featured key FTF allies World Fair Trade Organization‘s Chief Executive Erinch Sahan and British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers‘ Chair of the Board Laura Cave.