Things have been so crazy since we returned from Thailand. So many people ask me what I DO all day which kind of makes me chuckle because I think the fact that I don’t have a 9-5 job means that I can be even more busy and fill my day with lots of different things. On the top of my to-do list has been unpacking and organizing, catching up on 3+ months of missed projects, training a puppy (why is it so hard?!!), doing freelance work, and getting everything ready to launch our NEW store.
I feel like I’m FINALLY getting on a schedule and catching up with everything so I hope you will see a lot more blog posts and videos in the next couple of months.
But first, I’m welcoming myself back to the blogging world by introducing our new store-
(Side note: Doesn’t that logo look awesome? Matt’s sister, Kristen, designed it for me and I absolutely love it)
Matt and I spent a lot of time at markets while we were in Thailand and these cute elephants caught my eye immediately. I was able to talk to the lady that was selling them a little bit and she explained that she made them all by hand. She would spend a day cutting, a day sewing, a day stuffing and assembling and then on the weekends she would sell them on the street and then start all over again.
We originally just wanted to buy 10 for myself (I’m obsessed) and for some friends. When we told her how many we wanted to buy her jaw dropped. She didn’t know whether she should cry or laugh and when I assured her I was serious, she told me that was more than she had ever sold in a night and then her family started taking pictures of me picking them out. I can only imagine how relieved she was to know she would be able to provide for herself that week and seeing how much it meant to her sparked the idea of Token and Treasure.
We spent the whole summer talking about this idea and we honestly almost chickened out. There were so many unknowns like how we would use our little Thai/her little English to help her understand what we wanted to do , how we would keep ordering them from the U.S, and whether or not people would buy them. It wasn’t until our last 2 weeks that we got up the courage to go and talk to our two favorite vendors. We figured worst case scenario is that we would look like idiots not knowing how to communicate and/or she would say no so we decided to go for it! I honestly feel it was meant to be because as we were trying to talk to her, a lady that could translate was standing right next to us AND she happens to work as somewhat of a middle-man that sends local Thai products to people like us all around the world. She explained the whole process to us and the sweet Thai lady and we had everything figured out in a matter of minutes!
We initially only bought 50 elephants to ship home for a trial run but we received such overwhelming support that we have already ordered 100 more!! It all happened so fast that I’ve been afraid to advertise because our inventory is getting so low. We were so hopeful that we would get our new shipment in before Christmas but it has taken so long to organize everything and choose the elephants we want (dang time zone difference)! I just know we will work out all of the kinks on this first order and subsequent orders will happen a lot faster.
I know it all seems so small right now, but we have plans in place to add other travel inspired merchandise to our shop in the coming year and we see a lot of opportunity for growth in this niche. I also know that we will always continue to travel and I get so excited when I think about finding more vendors from all over the world that we can help. There are people all over the world that are so talented, creative, and hard working and I want to find them and support them.
You might also have read on the Token and Treasure website that we will be working with Operation Underground Railroad-an organization dedicated to rescuing children from sex slavery. It is our goal to help fund a rescue mission by donating a portion of the proceeds from each sale. You can read more about Operation Underground Railroad and their mission here.
This project is so near and dear to my heart after what we experienced this summer and I couldn’t be happier about the prospect of growing this business and by raising the money to help lots of different people. A big thank you for your support and love. Thank you to those who have purchased elephants from us and for those of you who have shared Token and Treasure with your friends. It truly means so much to us.
Shameless plug: if you haven’t purchased an elephant… Christmas is coming and they make cute gifts! Here are some that are still available 🙂