04 May Scarlet Thinkers: Rachel Salway
An Interview with Rachel Salway of Roseannah
I love it when I come across people and businesses who have an agenda that’s bigger than “just make money” and Rachel Salway of http://www.roseannah.com/ is one of those people. That’s why she’s my latest Scarlet Thinker. Prompted by a new campaign against trafficking, I interviewed Rachel to find out more:
How do you combine anti-trafficking campaigning with your business: tell us how that works?
I think it’s mainly about remembering what it is that I’m trying to achieve, my business ‘Roseannah’ is about finding an ethical and sustainable way to support many different marginalised people groups, charities and campaigns. The products that I stock in my store are fairly traded and ethically sourced. Combining my campaigning with my business goes hand-in-hand, each product has a story of hope and we have a specific jewellery collection that goes towards my anti-trafficking campaign Stop The Traffick! For my business the bottom line isn’t profit – it’s change and transforming lives worldwide.
It’s an interesting way of doing business and making a difference, how did that come about? Did you model it on someone else or was this something you’ve come up with?
It came about after a personal experience that I had, back in 2007. After doing a 300-mile walk to raise money for a trip to help the people of Mozambique, I visited small children to see their lives; how they lived, what they did and what the future might hold for them. This experience changed my life, it made me determined to make a difference to people’s lives, I wanted to help – so I came up with this idea to create an ethical business that will support others who cannot support themselves. Roseannah is the fruit of my labors and I am proud of what it is doing for both charities and people.
Many people feel that one person on their own can’t make a difference, how do you manage to keep this powerful belief that you can and is it worth it?
Without question, it is always worth it. The response I get from people, and the support I receive just makes me want to keep going, and continue to make a difference in peoples lives. To me, it is this support and the belief that everyone can make a difference, is what makes me keep fighting and campaigning.
What are your biggest challenges around doing business like this?
I think the biggest challenge that we face, is making sure that people are aware of what it is that we are doing. Creating awareness for a campaign is not just a one off event, or sending emails to people – it’s about constantly making sure that people know whom we are, and what it is we are trying to do. I think for me personally, the main challenge that I have faced is creating a brand from scratch. Creating a brand that people know and love is no small task.
What would your advice be for someone who wants to do a similar thing in business?
My advice would be to prepare for a lot of hard work, in the end it can be incredibly rewarding. It helps to have a clear vision of what it is you want to acheive so that you have something to build on. It also means that when it gets tough you can look at the reasons why you’re creating this business. Finally I would say, having a good network of people is key, people with different ideas and skills are always helpful because they make you think outside of the box.
Tell us about your latest campaign and how people can help.
Our latest campaign is called #ImNotForSale – it’s a campaign that is entirely dedicated to supporting victims of human trafficking, it is also about preventing future re-trafficking incidents. People can help by donating to our crowd-funding campaign, purchasing jewellery from the ‘Stop The Traffick!’ website, visiting our Orchard Square store or, coming to the fashion show that we will be hosting on the 5th May.
Visit our websites for more information:
Crowdfunding – https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/not-for-sale-campaign
Facebook – www.facebook.com/roseannahstyle
Twitter – @roseannahstyle
Instagram – roseannahstyle
Roseannah website – http://www.roseannah.com