Feb. 25, 2013
-- Mark Fangue and Liz Allen are the Co-Founders of Exotic World Gifts, which offers Fair Trade products and supports fair wages, safe and healthy working conditions, and good employment opportunities to economically disadvantaged Artisans worldwide. While following their calling to help others, extraordinary things happened as the people and animals they met, changed their lives forever. They left corporate careers and within months of starting Exotic World Gifts, their YouTube video went viral with over 15 million views, they've been asked to film shows with National Geographic and Animal Planet, they've appeared on NBC, CBS, CNN, they've been invited to the United Nations for a Compassion Ball, had lunch with Vogue magazine, been called by the Oprah producers, met with Pierce Brosnan for the work and difference they are making in the world and received the prestigious Communicators Award for their website.
Liz and Mark are tireless proponents of Fair Trade principles to provide sustainable income to mostly women artisans so they can better their family lives. They are a triple bottom line company; putting people and the planet before profits. They want customers to look beyond their beautiful Fair Trade gifts and realize the true meaning that it really represents - a child's education, a woman's answer out of prostitution, a way to save the rainforest and so many other global tragic situations. They are also concerned about the challenges facing people in the United States, so they partner with non-profit organizations in the U.S. to generate increased revenue to put towards necessary causes as well as doing crisis hotline counseling, pet therapy with abused children and uplifting people's spirits while in hospitals. They have been called to help others and that is their mission not only as a company, but as a couple. http://www.exoticworldgifts.com
Some of what is sold on the gift site is various products such as: artisan purses, home decor, jewelry, scarves, journals, pillows, stained glass window pieces, hand puppets, decor boxes, and mobiles. A part of what is sold on the Exotic World Gift site is actual paintings created by elephants. Videos of the elephants have been viewed worldwide. Why can elephants paint? The elephants have a trunk which is similar to the hand of a human for holding almost everything. This is an advantage of elephants compared to other animals. The elephant has concentration enough to complete their art pieces. The most important factor is their intelligence and their good memory which allows them to be trained with humans. They also bond with their mahout and the relationship, trust and confidence that their mahout provides is very beneficial. The elephant and their mahout develop a very close relationship and communicate with each other very well.
What are the different styles of painting? There are two styles - Abstract and Realistic. The elephants are able to do both styles including self-portraits, various flowers, bamboo and landscape. Some elephants can do more than one style. Every one of the elephants started by abstract which are lines or dots, then they develop to draw flowers or views and they can always go back to paint abstracts.
Why is it important to purchase products that are sold by companies with a Fair Trade Federation membership? Over 40% of the world's population lives in poverty. Fair Trade Federation members pay individuals 30 - 50% more than in a Free Trade situation. Fair Trade wages and practices are the only way to help them rise above poverty and their unjust situations. Nearly 3 billion people live on less than $2 per day. The United Nations estimates that developing countries lose around $2 billion per day due to unjust trade rules. Developing countries make up 40% of the world's population, but less than 3% of world trade. 1.3 billion people - one-fifth of the world's population still live on less than $1 a day. 60% of the world's 550 million working poor are women, according to the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development. As a FTF member at ExoticWorldGifts.com, business principles are based on the Triple Bottom Line - People, Planet and Profits. When you purchase an item, you are part of creating a sustainable living for others less fortunate and protecting the planet. Fair Trade is about sustainability vs. charity.
Liz and Mark say "Nothing compares to the feeling and impact of seeing mothers struggle to feed their children, men with legs and arms blown off from landmines, elephants painting to save their species, the beaming smiles of boys and girls as they intently started learning on their new laptop computers and receiving the tightest hug from a girl who brought her alcoholic mother to an artisan co-op as a last desperate act to change the course of her mother's life. When experiencing these and many other beautiful, challenging and often heart-breaking situations, now more than ever, we feel so passionate about dedicating our lives to helping others help themselves. We are tireless proponents of Fair Trade principles to provide sustainable income to mostly women artisans so they can better their family lives." Mark and Liz regularly experience rare global adventures as they traveling to fulfill their mission.
To learn more, listen to Debbi Dachinger as she interviews Mark Fangue and Liz Allen on Dare to Dream radio, listen via podcast at: http://www.deborahdachinger.com/interview-archives
. Debbi's Dare to Dream radio show is a syndicated, multi-award winning program, featured in news sources around the world. Dachinger is a bestselling author, keynote speaker and media personality. Dare to Dream radio airs live on the following stations: Indie 100 (out of Burbank, CA), the Morning Inspiration show: Wed-Fri 9-11 AM PT, and SAT & SUN 11 AM - 1 PM PT, and syndicates on WROM Radio (Detroit), WHTB (Massachusetts)
, Air Check (Florida) and Butterfly Radio (Florida).