Say Hello to Jenny
How long have you been aware of fair trade?
I’ve been aware of fair-trade products for many years and have been really pleased to see how they have developed and improved. About 18 years ago I started selling fair-trade crafts from home, and quickly became passionate about fair-trade as a way for people to earn their way out of poverty. I’ve been lucky enough to visit producers in several different countries and have seen for myself the difference it makes to their lives.
Why did you open a fair trade shop?
The shop became available at a time of change in my life, and it seemed the right thing to do, to turn a dream into reality.
What do you find most rewarding from running a fair trade shop?
I love selling things, and also love meeting people and talking to them about the things we sell. I find it exciting and fun to open the boxes of new products when they are delivered.
How does being an entrepreneur compare to how you thought it would be?
In some ways it’s harder than I thought it would be. Balancing the cash-flow is quite challenging – bills still have to paid in quiet months, but if we don’t have a good variety of stock, people won’t come back. It is also difficult to separate the things I do for the business from the rest of my life. I find myself doing things at home late in the evening, when I should probably leave it until the next day, but it’s strangely addictive.
What are you looking forward to most in the 3rd year of Good Taste?
Seeing the shop thrive and continue to attract both new and returning customers. I also hope it will become more of a permanent fixture on the Sheffield retail scene, and that more people will actively choose to shop with us.
What do you enjoy most about living in Sheffield?
I love the fact that I can get easily into town and just as easily out into the Peak District. I have also found it a really friendly city ever since we came here in 1991.
What do you enjoy outside of running the shop?
I love spending time with my family, our two daughters live in Sheffield and we have 4 energetic grandchildren who are a delight to be with. Our oldest daughter and I run a Brownie pack which is pretty good fun – especially taking the girls away for the weekend on holiday or camping. We belong to All Saints Ecclesall which is a friendly and inspiring church, and my perfect Sunday involves a big family lunch when we get back from the morning service.
What is your favourite fair trade product?
This is such a hard question, as I do most of the buying and have a tendency to buy things I like. However, I do usually I choose to buy my cards from the Cards from Africa range.