Is it the UNIVERSE that makes life serendipitous!
From Abbotsford to Afghanistan to Ottawa to London UK, to Surrey, BC. This is a long story so be prepared…Many of you heard me share the famous “pen holder”story from my work in Afghanistan in 2003.
Mahbooba Waizi was the ED for the women Economic Development Council and I was leading an “Access to Market Training for UNDP”. She coordinated a group of women to send in products to be assessed for the global market. Well to be honest they were not very good and had no potential of reaching global markets without a lot of changes. But the women needed sales after being in isolation in a brutal regime for 25 yrs! Just by chance, Faye Beck, whose husband was a partner with Robert Redford and Sundance stores, was wearing a leather pen holder made from a Colorado artist from years past. I quickly asked her if we could get Mahbooba to make 8 of them. In 2 days she came back to us with 200! We bought 60 which was more money they had made in a long time.
It is now 2011 and by chance I was at an Int. Conference in Ottawa and there was Mahbooba again. She shared how there were now thousands of women in the Afghan Women’s Business Council. I was so proud of her amazing work.
2019, now this story goes to London,UK where she hears a live Facebook video about GroYourBiz from Susan Kabani one of our Co-Chairs in London. Mahbooba contacts me. She is living in London now but still working passionately for Afghan women and wants to start a store in London for their products (including food) for both wholesale and retail sale. I loved the connection again and her passion, but not sure how I can help.
The ideas don’t leave my mind and literary one day later (last night) I get invited to the Surrey Board of of Chamber Christmas Fiesta by the wonderful President Anita Huberman. And behold one of the exhibits is a wonderful family from Afghanistan who have Afghan Kitchen a store in Surrey and making the most delicious food. I tried the cake, called “Mum’s recipe”! Connections make a difference. We just have to be be open to the universe.
Not sure where this will go but who knows…perhaps getting everyone to connect at EXCELerate Conference May 27-28, 2020 in Vancouver. Hopefully with those pen holders and yummy cake! Thanks Anita and Susan for your magic in this connection.