You may have noticed that DFC has been very "off the grid", so to speak, this past year. Due to family circumstances, we've scaled back quite a bit from our normal promoting, advocacy and social media. I have missed it so!
With this step back, however, I've been given the gift of some new perspectives, on what marketing is really entailing. I get a ton of emails in my inbox, just like you do - advertisements for one thing or another, but they aren't just clogs in my inbox, I'm noticing. Even as I press the "delete" button, I am seeing messages that look something like this....
- You need this!
- Shouldn't you have this?
- The styles you need....
- See what "so and so" is doing now! And why you need to do it, too!
I don't know about you, but all those messages make me feel like I'm definitely worth it and awesome just the way I am.
Also during this step back, I've decided to do something drastic with myself. Go gray. Well, at least some gray. I've had gray hair since I was in high school. I'll never forget a boy in chemistry class looking at me from the back, while we were sitting at our lab tables, and saying, "YOU HAVE A GRAY HAIR!" He said it like it was a snake coming out of my head or something. Yikes. Instant message - look how OLD you are!! Because we all know looking old, or even older, is not okay. :(
I love my brown hair. So, for the past however many years (#letsnotgothere), I've been dying my hair. I don't want to look 60 before I'm 70 (no, that's not a typo). I want to look 25, thank you. Always! I had always chosen the semi permanent route until this past spring, when I took the permanent route, and then 1 week later roots were crazy obvious. Before, I had loved my brown hair and it was mostly still there all by itself. But now, all of a sudden, with "permanent" change, it became something I had to maintain. Something I was tied to. I considered why I was taking this on - and along with that, what I was teaching my daughters by considering this a new obligation. It was no longer something I enjoyed. It was something I felt like I had to do to maintain a certain perception. And so I made the decision to start letting some of the gray grow out. (Hey, I'm still part of the culture and haven't exactly made my peace about defying all of our cultural opinions and stigmas.) It's been tough. Freeing, but flipping hard.
Those things together (seeing advertising messages more clearly and liberating my hair - trying to sound cool here), have given me a different perspective on what I'm putting out there in marketing DFC.
Over the years I have tried not to promote a message that you need anything we offer, necessarily. It's not food, water, or shelter. More importantly, you don't need it to be better at anything or look better. Putting on a piece of jewelry doesn't make you or your worth any different than before you put it on, or even knew it existed.
The message we try to clearly promote is that when you buy from DFC, you are helping people. You are giving dignity, opportunity and a real chance at livelihood for survivors all over the world. An awesome perk to your purchases is that the items are high quality, lovingly and carefully picked out, and are truly beautiful. And so unique! The point of that is that you can find things that you really enjoy - that give you joy when you wear and use them, both because you love the aspects of the items themselves and because you are making a difference for women and children all over the world with their purchase. So much meaning!
As the holiday season has approached, I've thought about what message I want to communicate with any DFC marketing we are able to do. One of the beautiful messages of Christmas is that of giving. It is one
tangible way of communicating love, thoughtfulness and generosity to
our loved ones.
In our family, loved ones ask us for ideas for Christmas presents, and we ask them, too. We've struggled, though, in both what to ask for and what to give. How could it look different from just giving and asking for stuff? How can gift giving embrace who the person is and appreciate who they are, as they are? Here's one solution our family has tried to employ.
We now try to find one gift that will be really meaningful to the receiver. It could be related to something they are passionate about, need, have mentioned that they wouldn't buy themselves, or just something we think they'll enjoy. Having it be handmade and fair trade just adds to the beauty because that in and of itself communicates thoughtfulness and compassion.
To that end, over the course of the last week or so, the few posts we've put on Instagram and Facebook have had the subtitle "#onemeaningfulgift" to help promote this idea. The more I post it, the more I love the idea. It is simple and meaningful. At this stage in my life, that sounds just about perfect.
I love DFC's mission and vision. I love that our selections have meaning - that they provide dignity, hope, livelihood and second chances. So, if you're considering meaningful gift giving, we could be a very good stop for you! In light of that, we want to offer you some meaningful gift giving suggestions!! Here are just a few:
- Do you have someone on your list who loves comfy, cozy days at home? Think on these awesome PUNJAMMIES™!
- Someone who loves new trends? Check out the Camille Necklace! A fabulous statement piece!
- One who loves upcycling and environmental friendliness? These sari throws are gorgeous! And would also fit for the one who loves comfy days at home.
- Little girl who likes to have a lot of trinkets? These are perfect for storing them. :)
And that's just a start! I'll keep posting suggestions on our facebook page for ideas in case you want to join our #onemeaningfulgift boat.
What are your thoughts? What do you think of this idea? And what kind of meaningful gifts can you come up with this holiday season? Please share!