So Hannah, the creator of A Beautiful Refuge shared an update on our group project, A Beautiful Refuge and in one last bid to strengthen this social enterprise with donations (and update those who have been kind enough to support it with their interest or their dollars in this last week before our launch. Here's a quick rundown of the good and the bad, collated by the amazing loving force that is Hannah of Life + Style + Justice. Below are her words.
                                                                                                                    

The Good: 
  • 7 DAYS until our US team flies over to the Philippines to launch the project! We're thrilled and overwhelmed with gratitude toward the generous hearts of each of our donors which have gotten us this far! 
  • We've raised nearly all of our startup costs and have already been able to order much of the needed supplies for the workshop! There's still a bit more to raise, but we also have some pre-orders for product coming in which will help us reach goal by the time we land in the Philippines.
  • We've begun to make some amazing new connections in the Philippines and have several meetings set up with other entrepreneurs and startup groups during our first few days on the ground. We're really excited to get to know and network with the existing social enterprise community. 
  • We've gotten our first two official wholesale orders (even before we're entirely set up! Thanks toMolly and Laura for believing in us!), with 4 more orders pending! 
The Bad: 
  • We are experiencing a bit of government corruption as a few vital boxes of product are being held at customs and we're being told that we need to pay far more than the going tax/tariff rates to release them. It's an unfair and expensive roadblock, and we're hoping that our shipping agent will be able to help us resolve the issue and bring the price down to a fair point. 
  • We haven't tracked down a workshop space in Tagaytay/Cavite yet. In a pinch, we can use space at Safe Refuge's campus temporarily but it would be ideal to have dedicated space nearby right off the bat! 
  • Various other mishaps and obstacles (nothing crazy, just inconveniences and personal happenings) have occurred over the past week that have resulted in quite a bit of stress for both our Philippines and US teams. We covet your prayers and support over the next few critical weeks!
Designs:
After several rounds of design (using, among others, the gorgeous designs submitted by our blogger partners ChristyAshleeHolly, and Jacqui) and a great big survey gathering consumer feedback, here we are with our final product group! 
We were thrilled to have nearly 200 respondents to our survey, and even more thrilled that people LOVED the designs and had so many nice things to say about our inaugural line! Most of us working on the project, with the exception of our textile designer Lizzie and our illustrator Rachael, aren't technically "product designers"- so thank you, everyone who participated in the survey- for making us all feel super awesome about our art! 

Now, for your viewing pleasure: The products! 




Stay tuned for pre-ordering opportunities in April to make sure that you can snag your favorite product! If you're interested in a wholesale order consisting of these designs, or even a custom design of your own printed on ethically made tees with eco-inks, contact us