Blog Meet the Team

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. Over 20 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 the 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 is your favourite product you sell?

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. It’s amazing to know that just through buying a card you can change someone’s life for the better.

Cards From Africa support orphaned young people in Rwanda.

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 three children live in Sheffield and we have 6 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.