What happened to NationWares?!
I want to start this post with a public apology for leaving you all with so many unanswered questions for far too long. For those who missed the notice, back in the spring of 2016, the official online shop hosted at NationWares.com was closed/discontinued.
NationWares was built on the foundation of hope, love, & opportunity as it quickly became a leader in its time, helping to make a name for fair trade fashion & accessories in Canada and beyond. The designs, artisan handwork, and cultural detailing woven throughout all of NationWares products, connected ethical consumers to unique handmade pieces with a story of hope & opportunity. NationWares successfully connected artisans & small business owners in developing nations with North American consumers. I am still immensely proud to have fostered those relationships over time and walked alongside my artisan friends and partners while giving their business the boost it needed to grow and expand within their local community and context.
It is an absolute honour to have shared in such an incredible movement to support fair trade, artisan made, and ethically sourced fashion pieces. NationWares could not have accomplished any of its projects and commitments to sustainability & social justice without your support. The decision to close the online shop & discontinue events did not come about lightly. This industry is a very competitive space that comes with many challenges that can often seem insurmountable. Unfortunately, the costs, competition, and complications continued to increase with time as the market became saturated with similar ventures that made it difficult for us to ethically & sustainably create products that were "affordable" for our consumer market. In order to do business that met our code of ethics, we needed to carry price tags that were so high that they would be out of reach for the average young consumer that we catered to (myself included).
In the end, it was essential to keep values & integrity in check, instead of sacrificing and succumbing to rising marketing costs, business costs, and other ongoing back end expenses that just weren't adding up to make the market sustainable enough here in Canada. Because of your support, many artisans (supported by NationWares in the past) have built foundations firm enough to continue their businesses and achieve success in their local markets. Hooray! That was always the intent.
The heart and soul of NationWares is also still alive in its founder...me! I will continue to advocate for social justice & ethical work to bring people out of poverty at the local + global level. My passion and motivation in life, will always be Guatemala. My initiatives and plans for the future with Guatemala are not over!! Trust me, Matt and I are entering into a new season of hustle to make our plans and dreams in Guatemala a reality and I can't wait to share more as our future unfolds.
There are some NationWares items still available for purchase and you can have access to them at incredible prices in Durham Ontario at Eckhardts Floral Treasures Flower & Gift Shop. I may even open up a temporary shop through this blog and sell off a few items. I'll be sure to share if I do.
This is not a sad goodbye or farewell, this is an exciting fusion of "until we meet again" and "stay tuned". Although the NW site and FB page are no longer active, please feel free to keep in touch and send questions, comments etc by direct messaging firstname.lastname@example.org or on any of my personal social media. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for your faithful support to NationWares and for sharing the heart behind our products and continuing to support fair trade & international development.
Amie (& Matt)