Through the sale of our handmade, fairly traded products we are changing the lives of women artisans around the world.
This is an amazingly good thing.
As a retail business, it is a given that in late January and early February, any and all marketing efforts should be focused on Valentine’s Day.
The problem is, Valentine’s Day represents many things we strongly disagree with; blatant commercialism, millions of dollars spent on cheap items that contribute to exploitation in manufacturing around the world, obligation shopping (the need to prove you care about someone by giving gifts on a day chosen by the companies selling the stuff). UGH!
Here is what often happens on and around February 14th:
1. Endless marketing works to convince us that we MUST participate or we are unloving.
2. Single people, who are looking for relationships, are painfully reminded of their singlehood.
3. One partner in a relationship feels obligated to do “something” but gives a last minute or half-hearted effort. Disappointment (and/or arguments) ensue.
4. One partner in a relationship is an endless romantic and spends a great deal of time, effort and money to create the perfect romantic experience which receives a lukewarm (or worse) response from the other partner. Disappointment (and/or arguments) ensue.
5. This is not a complete list.
We could easily rename Valentine's Day “How Much Did This Cost Day" or "Disappointment Day" or "You’re Still Single Day". These would be more accurate.
Ah, but those names wouldn’t sell any candy, cards or flowers.
Here’s an idea…
Let’s make February 14th a different kind of Heart Day....
A day where we nuture our own hearts by focusing on everything (and everyone) that is good, and working in our lives.
A day where we speak from the heart and tell people we care about how much they mean to us.
A day where we nurture our relationships with long walks or a few hours of being together, no cell phones or other distractions.
A day filled with conversation focused on what we appreciate about each other and our dreams for the future.