I just wanted to publish a quick update for all of the awesome friends of Safe Refuge who are following along as this project unfolds! It's crazy to think that just a few months ago, this entire project was just a big idea in the heads of some women who wanted to get together and DO SOMETHING to love and support some other women halfway around the world. Global sisterhood (and brotherhood!) is a beautiful thing!
Here's a quick rundown of the good and the bad, with a week left to launch!
- 7 DAYS until our US team flies over to the Philippines to launch the project! We're thrilled and overwhelmed with gratitude toward the generous hearts of each of our donors which have gotten us this far!
- We've raised nearly all of our startup costs and have already been able to order much of the needed supplies for the workshop! There's still a bit more to raise, but we also have some pre-orders for product coming in which will help us reach goal by the time we land in the Philippines.
- We've begun to make some amazing new connections in the Philippines and have several meetings set up with other entrepreneurs and startup groups during our first few days on the ground. We're really excited to get to know and network with the existing social enterprise community.
- We've gotten our first two official wholesale orders (even before we're entirely set up! Thanks to Molly and Laura for believing in us!), with 4 more orders pending!
We are experiencing a bit of government corruption as a few vital boxes of product are being held at customs and we're being told that we need to pay far more than the going tax/tariff rates to release them. It's an unfair and expensive roadblock, and we're hoping that our shipping agent will be able to help us resolve the issue and bring the price down to a fair point.
We haven't tracked down a workshop space in Tagaytay/Cavite yet. In a pinch, we can use space at Safe Refuge's campus temporarily but it would be ideal to have dedicated space nearby right off the bat!
Various other mishaps and obstacles (nothing crazy, just inconveniences and personal happenings) have occurred over the past week that have resulted in quite a bit of stress for both our Philippines and US teams. We covet your prayers and support over the next few critical weeks!