Hi there! Joelle McNamara, Founder of Badala here! 👋🏻 I wanted to take some time on this Small Business Saturday to re-live some of Badala's early days, reflect on how we got to where we are, and share a bit of our story with you.
I didn't start this company with loads of capital. I started with a box of cupcake mix and an egg. I heard about people in the world who were starving, so I did the only thing 17-year-old me could think to do; I started doing bake sales to raise money at my high school. It was with that money that we purchased our first work materials, to make our very first product: a bracelet that was made in the homes of the first women we ever hired.
When that bracelet started selling out, we moved into our first office: a tiny ground floor apartment in one of the largest slums in the world. It was certainly nothing impressive, but it was ours, and that's where we really started dreaming. What would we do if we weren't afraid? We started thinking of all sorts of new products we could create. The women we hired, who were initially unable to think beyond their current circumstances, started telling us of their own hopes of running their own small businesses. I am proud to say that we saw several of them do so. Seeing that metamorphosis, changing from women dreading what may happen today into women dreaming confidently of what the future may hold, was one of the most beautiful transformations I have ever been fortunate enough to witness.
Today we are still a small business, but we are thankful for the incredible growth we've had because of our partnerships large and small. We are thankful to companies like TOMS and Target who have lent us their platforms to tell our story. We are so proud to be part of a community of entrepreneurs and small business who have chosen to carry our products in their stores and on their websites. We are incredibly grateful for supporters like you who have followed our story from the beginning, or jumped in somewhere along the way. Thank you for shopping small and letting us (our products and our artisans) be part of your lives, your homes, and your family celebrations and traditions. It is an honor that we do not take lightly. It is because of you that we are dreaming big dreams and looking confidently to see what the future holds for Badala. We look forward to serving you outstanding hand made products for years to come.
by Joelle McNamara
Joelle McNamara is the Founder and CEO of Badala. A free spirit, she'll be found traveling, guzzling coffee, or making something. Her adventures can be followed at @joellemcnamara.