By Yenifer Lam
There are many stories when people create a business, especially a business that strives to make a difference through sustainable practices.
First, there’s the inspirational story of Florinda Can. Her tenacity to combine difficult life experiences and artisanal skills into a business that empowers and changes the lives of the individuals in her community merits recognition as one of the engines of this undertaking. Florinda is a native Guatemalan designer and owner of Kem Ajachel, one of the brands sold at www.msglocalstyle.com
Then there is the story of Glocal Connection, which was founded a year ago by two young women with global roots. We are infused with love of travel, style and business as well as a desire to empower others and to make the world a better place for all who inhabit it. Although our journey started four years ago with the communities in Guatemala, it was only recently that the business structure was finalized. Our goal was to combine a nonprofit mission with the balance sheet of a profitable company. We believe in the mantra: “Give a person a fish he will eat for a day. Teach a person to fish he will eat for a lifetime”.
Under our platform, the communities learn how to be relevant in the global market: we design and implement sustainable business practices that best fits their business model and their country’s infrastructure. The Kem Ajachel community brings lifestyle products, jewelry and women’s accessories to modern living through ancient traditional skills. Not only are the products’ weavings and designs superb, each accessory is one of a kind due to the nature of the designers.
Our mission is to impact society positively through economic development and people empowerment. We are connecting the dots for these communities of artisans and micro-producers. We understand how small the world has become and as a result the supply chain must be altered and constant innovation be incorporated.
Florinda started working when she was seven years old for Europeans. At that time she was offered gum as payment for her work and designs. Throughout the years, she continued to work and came to realize she was not the only one working for literally pennies.
Even with her limited education, Florinda, a mother of three, had a vision: to advocate for her people to provide local options so that they can control their work and their pay. She decided to start a community with a micro-loan. Despite the limitations, obstacles and competition with foreign organizations, Kem Ajachel is now a private company in Guatemala that employs more than 70 people full time. The goal is to have 1000 weavers and a school for younger generations to learn the trade.
Glocal Connection continues to work directly on the back end to provide organizational skills and industry knowledge to position products in the US and UK. We as Glocal Connection are invested in their success as it is our own. We believe that these products bring something unique to the market. We are proving that you can others while building a fashion forward business. We are proud to share our journey with you. And there is more to come as we are building on our success and expanding our platform to Uganda, Kenya and Brazil in the near term.
Yenifer Lam brings 10+ years of supply chain and international business experience in the fashion industry. She has covered over 15 brands where she has worked the full gamut of enterprise structures from small start-ups to iconic fashion power houses. Her work has taken her across the globe – from the Americas to Africa, and from Asia to the Middle East. She is passionate about cultural diversity. After years of globe trekking, she is crafting meaningful life stories by solving challenges to empower others. She is a Co-Founder of Glocal Connection a platform to sell lifestyle products and help communities and micro-producers further their economic development. You may contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.