Etkie

idea by Sydney A

Applicant Name

First and Last Name:

Sydney Alfonso

Website

:

www.etkie.com

What inspired your idea?

:

During my study abroad year in Turkey, I witnessed women selling jewelry on the streets as they struggled to compete in overcrowded local markets. After graduation, I spent six months in Turkey at a cooperative working with women who lacked access to materials, design and most importantly an international market. This January, I returned home and started working with Native American artisans who face a similar situation in New Mexico. Lack of resources leaves many artisan women in desperate financial situations because they do not have the education to support themselves outside their craft.

What’s your social impact business idea?

:

Etkie is a double bottom line jewelry and accessories company. We source all of our products from struggling female artisans AND financially enable individuals or organizations to further their own idea of social change through our Etkie impact kits. This past year, I traveled to different campuses around the country hosting Etkie events with university organizations. Our sales grew the first year exclusively through student run fundraisers, and person-to-person sales. We had motivated individuals selling our jewelry that believed in the Etkie mission while at the same time earning money for their own causes. We were so inspired by these organizations’ dedication to support Etkie artisans that it only made sense to help them earn money for their social projects.

What is your impact and how is it relevant to the business?

:

Etkie means impact in Turkish. We’ve created jewelry that is made by women in developing areas with an understanding that a lack of education or social stigmas hinder her ability to earn an income. Etkie is a business that currently serves eight women artisans by providing designs, start-up materials, and holistic support through local organizations. We facilitate responsible trade that prioritizes a woman’s wellbeing over figures. Additionally, our sales team looks to motivated individuals and organizations to help us sell our products via our impact kits while at the same time helping them earn up to 30% commission to use towards creating their own idea of social change.

How will you establish sustainable impact in the locations you wish to serve?

:

I’ve found that the key to sustainability is partnering with a local in-country host organization. They are the cultural and societal guides for our business and have thus far been the greatest asset in accomplishing our goals. Many of our artisans are faced with abject poverty, sexual violence or homelessness. We must understand these issues and translate this understanding into realistic expectations about what we can achieve. We have to explore the “who”, “how” and “why” of our artisans not just the “when” and “how much”. Our host organizations help us assess and overcome these situations and together we have created mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships.

What does success look like, including measurements and reporting on the business and your impact?

:

We understand that our customers want to see tangible evidence of how their purchase is making an immediate impact so in each application we ask each host organizations to create a list with concrete examples of how the money is utilized. The annual report will be available online. On a larger scale, Etkie’s mission includes expanding our services and creating a company that upholds its corporate commitments. By creating employment, supporting the growth of the social sector through our supply chain, and community reinvestment of economic resources, Etkie hopes to become a thriving social business that is also commercially rewarded.

What would $50,000 mean for your business? And how will it help your company better reach its goals?

:

$50,000 would allow us to support over 15 artisans in three countries and generate enough money within a year to double the number of women we serve.
We would use $30,000 to build 113 impact kits (we already have 20 people signed up!), which would in turn generate $67,235 for Etkie and $28,815 for organizations earning money with our impact kit.
$10,000 will be divided between our in-country host organizations to purchase equipment, materials, and working capital needed to produce large orders.
The remaining $10,000 will be utilized for purchasing software to customize an online commission based sales platform to be integrated with our current website.

Discussion
32 Pink-talk-bubble-tail

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I have a tree bracelet from Etkie and everyone loves it! I cant wait to see more of Etkie's products and hear how it helps women artisans...

by pinkpony
about 1 year ago | Reply

I'm proud of you guys... Keep up the great work!

by treysi.jebahar
about 1 year ago | Reply

I know that this project helped many women in Turkey. Hope it can inspire women elsewhere too!

by jebahar
about 1 year ago | Reply

Awesome job!

by sydney.miyatake
about 1 year ago | Reply

Way to go Etkie

by RosieLee03
about 1 year ago | Reply

love this company and its vision!

by lineb1003
about 1 year ago | Reply

Thanks Line! Can't wait to see what the future holds!

by Sydney A
about 1 year ago | Reply

Terrific idea for to help women keep their spot in the world.

by barbara.smailis
about 1 year ago | Reply

Absolutely! If anyone can do it, our artisans can!

by Sydney A
about 1 year ago | Reply

Great idea, great company! If anyone has the drive, dedication, attitude, and heart to grow this into something big, it's Sydney! Etkie has the best combo of a good vision and committed leadership to do something truly inspirational.

by tnbeatty
about 1 year ago | Reply

Thank you so much for the compliment! Etkie couldn't have made it this far without help and encouragement from people like you!

by Sydney A
about 1 year ago | Reply

Such a good idea!!

by Allie1515
about 1 year ago | Reply

Thanks! Let's hope we get to make it happen!

by Sydney A
about 1 year ago | Reply

So proud of Etkie! What a fabulous idea!

by annaclements1@gmail.com
about 1 year ago | Reply

Thanks Anna!

by Sydney A
about 1 year ago | Reply

This is really an amazing project. With sufficient funds, women artisans can even have an atelier to work on different models, learn more skills and be empowered both economically and socially. Go Etkie!

by jebahar
about 1 year ago | Reply

Yes, it's quite exciting to think about the types of new models we'll be able to create with the funding!

by Sydney A
about 1 year ago | Reply

As a business owner myself, I absolutely love your detailed description and plan for the $50,000. It is concrete, concise, and visionary. I actually own one of your cuff bracelets and I always receive tons of compliments! Great cause, great business and great products!

by chris.ono2
about 1 year ago | Reply

Thank you so much for supporting us! If you ever want to talk shop--we're always all ears :)

by Sydney A
about 1 year ago | Reply

GO ETKIE!

by Emma.g.hodge@gmail.com
about 1 year ago | Reply

Thanks Emma!

by Sydney A
about 1 year ago | Reply

I love what Sydney has built up with Etkie--there is massive opportunity to create a huge impact by bringing ethical practices to the fashion industry!

by andrewctoth
about 1 year ago | Reply

It is a great market opportunity! We strive to offer our customers affordable pieces because we believe that ethical jewelry should be a standard not a luxury.

by Sydney A
about 1 year ago | Reply

As a business owner myself, I absolutely love your detailed description and plan for the $50,000. It is concrete, concise, and visionary. I actually own one of your cuff bracelets and I always receive tons of compliments! Great cause, great business and great products!

by chris.ono2
about 1 year ago | Reply

Totally amazing way to promote conscientious consumerism while offering affordable handmade jewelry crafted by woman from around the world! I really like your kits and your philosophy to "spread the good!" Thanks for giving your artists a change to dream and make choices! Good luck!

by 2kmarler@gmail.com
about 1 year ago | Reply

Yes! Our artisans are the inspiration behind all of our work. They (like all women) are truly inspiring women who deserve the opportunity to dream and change their lives. We'll be posting new artisan stories next week at http://etkie.com/meet-our-artisans/

by Sydney A
about 1 year ago | Reply

Wow this is an awesome idea! And the jewelry is beautiful! They have really planned out how the "Start Something That Matters" money can be used, and it seems like the impact can really be measured. Etkie is also empowering women in multiple cultures through an art that they are familiar with and already have as part of their lives. Props from me!

by libbyjohnson54
about 1 year ago | Reply

Hi Libby!
Thanks so much for your encouragement! We have been working on Etkie for over a year now so we really understand the metrics behind our kits. We LOVE working with women around the globe and are constantly in awe of their talents!

by Sydney A
about 1 year ago | Reply

I like that you can detail exactly how much of the money is going to what and also how much revenue it will generate. also, love the on-line list of concrete examples of how money is utilized by local organizations!

by nicole.wdisf
about 1 year ago | Reply

Thanks Nicole. Yes, we believe providing tangible evidence of our financial impact is one of the most fundamental building blocks for creating a sustainable social enterprise. We appreciate your attentiveness and thank you for taking the time to discuss our project!

by Sydney A
about 1 year ago | Reply

As a women "empowerment" means...
Encouragement to take on new global ventures…
Strength to voice one’s opinions within the household…
Training in non-tradition skills to create means of sustainable revenue…
Empowerment is YOU; is every woman who seeks to support, love, and impart a new sense of self-worth to women around the world.
Etkie not only sheds light on the importance of women’s empowerment but executes it with the utmost integrity and passion. Amazing job, Etkie!

by jrlake
about 1 year ago | Reply

Thank you for your encouraging words. We are continually so inspired by the amazing support for Etkie. It means the world to us!

by Sydney A
about 1 year ago | Reply

Pink-ribbon-award-box-icon
Award_topvotedidea
$50,000
Circle-1-inactive Step1-title-idea-inactive

Submission Began
Monday, April 22

Submission Ended
Friday, May 17
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-2-inactive Step2-title-voting-inactive

Voting Began
Friday, May 31

Voting Ended
Friday, June 14
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-3 Step3-title
TOHL
TOHL

Winner Announced
Tuesday, July 02

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