We just finished our Fair Trade Partner Conference 2017: Together We RISE. Holy moly…it was something else. With the Rocky Mountains and Denver skyline as a backdrop, 20 Fair Trade Partners and our Home Office Staff gathered to lean into our mission and increase our impact. Taryn Schroeder, a long time Fair Trade Partner and now Director of Field Development, wrote about her experience amidst our tribe of world-changers.
I was 24 when I attended my first sales conference, and that’s when I fell in love. I fell in love with the act of gathering a sales team from all over the country to learn and grow together. I fell in love with bringing people together in one room to unite them under a collective vision and inspire them to work toward that vision. I fell in love with the fun and laughter and connection, the spark of new friendship, the rekindling of old friendship, the late late nights and the coffee-drenched mornings, the hugs goodbye, and the sense of refocused determination upon returning to the office.
I simply love what happens when people gather and say, “Let’s do this thing together. We can make it happen. Let’s get to work.”
At Threads, we just completed our 3rd annual sales conference, and my love for the conference burns as bright as ever. It had everything I love — connection, laughter, inspiration, learning, growth, free food — and so much more than I even knew was possible when I first discovered the sales conference all those years ago.
Threads sales conferences are more than fun, more than motivating, more than a chance to see old and new friends. They are so much more than all of that because our attendees are so much more than sales reps. We don’t just gather our sales team from all over the country to teach them how to talk about our new products. We gather a team of women who dare to dream of a world where every mother can feed her child, where every child can go to school, and where every woman knows she is worthy of love and respect. We gather a team of women who dare to say “I see you. I am your sister” to the women halfway around the world who have been cast away from their families and communities for being HIV+ or deaf or trafficked. We gather a team of women who choose to connect those women to a marketplace for their goods, who share their stories with others and invite others to make this world a better place by shopping with heart. We gather a team of women who stand for a world where products are made and traded fairly, making abundance available to all.
When world-changers gather, it’s about more than sales. It’s about the IMPACT of every sale. Every Showcase we book, every sale we make, every compliment our customers get, every word we breathe about Threads… it always comes back to the impact. When our tribe gathers, we ask, “How can we expand our impact? How many lives can we change? How many pieces of Threads jewelry can we get into the world so that more artisans have work, more kids can go to school, and more communities can thrive? What will it take to create an abundant world that works for all of us, no matter where we live?”
Can you imagine being in a room full of women asking those questions? Can you imagine what would be possible if there were even more of us? I can. I imagine it every single day. And every single day I ask, “What will it take to grow our tribe of world-changers? How big does our tribe need to be to eradicate poverty? Who is just waiting to be invited to join us in making this world a better place?”
Are you waiting?
Well, consider yourself invited. We need you. We want you. We welcome you. And we can’t wait to gather with you at the next Threads Sales Conference this January. I bet you’ll fall in love, too.