When we started the idea of selling clutches for the training group, I was keeping my fingers crossed that any would sell. It is hard to gauge which items made out of pagne will turn out well, which ones will be hideous, and which ones will be so-so. Well, turns out, the clutches are a huge success!
When I wrote the last blog (here), I had 20 clutches made; 5 that we are saving for gifts and 15 that would be sold in training. I ended up taking the 15 to be sold in training to Yaoundé with me to offer to the other volunteers attending their medical mid-service with Shaun and I. Within the first day there, 10 were sold, and by the end of it, all 15 gone.
Then came the special orders! My aunt (thanks Aunt Chris!) ordered 10. My mom and her work friends ordered 31 (thank you Pacific Foods!). Last night I got a text from a friend who purchased a clutch and was with the training group in Bafia saying everyone was freaking out about them and wants one. So, I called the tailor and she is rushing to make 10 by Saturday so they can go with a volunteer who is heading to the training site on Sunday. Altogether, she has either orders for or sold 71! That comes out to about $300 USD extra profit for our tailor and her family!
And it continues… One of the PCVs who purchased a clutch is good friends with a family that works at the US Embassy in Cameroon and she showed it to them. The Embassy is chatting with the tailor to see if they can sell a handful of clutches at the embassy store!
While I fully realize that this project, without a store, vendor, or distributor, cannot realistically continue once Shaun and I are done with our service in Cameroon. Given that fact, I am still content with the added boost of profit for our tailor/good friend here.
All that to be said, it’s not too late if you want to order some clutches too!