Welcome to our monthly Subscriber Snapshot, where we highlight some of the amazing subscribers who really “get” everything that Trade as One is about. To learn more about the Trade as One subscription, head to our new website, here!
When Mikayla emailed us with the title “happy customer!” and explained how, even amongst college debt and working as a barista, she found subscribing to Trade as One an important and necessary part of her budget, our jaws dropped. How do we tell her story, without making it sound made up? Her story is that perfect.
Here’s a little bit of what she said:
“I just wanted to stop by and say that our box was amazing! This week I have decided to spend 40% of my grocery money purchasing through Trade as One… I am a student attending PSU. My grocery budget is always somewhat frugal. I love that for $99 (a lot for a college student) is a payment I can do every three months instead of every month. I like that I have the option to purchase individual items between boxes, as I did tonight! This way, I can help others around the world even on a college student budget! I’m very happy with this program you have and very appreciative as well!”
Pretty amazing, right? We wanted to learn more about Mikayla, so we reached out! What we learned about her made us love her heart for buying ethically and confirmed that our subscribers are some of the best people out there.
More about Mikayla (yes, it gets better!)
Growing up, Mikayla never quite understood what Fair Trade and buying ethically meant. Not until she moved out and realized how hard grocery shopping can be, that is. Wanting to eat well, Mikayla started researching food and food systems and became passionate about empowering herself with knowledge on more than just what fair trade meant. “I discovered an entire global crisis, and stemming from than, found the significance of buying ethically. What is so shocking is being a part of this planet for 20 years, while living in pure ignorance of such an urgent issue.” Suddenly, her interest in wanting to eat well while living on her own turned into finding a way for her to be a solution and not a problem to the global food crisis she discovered.
Her motivation to subscribe came with the realization that people all around the globe are fighting for a quality of life that so many take for granted. “The video hit home- our ‘charity’ isn’t enough. These wonderful and skilled people need jobs. We have the power to provide it. That’s my motivation.” Realizing Mikayla has the opportunity to provide even the smallest amount to producers across the globe by purchasing products through Trade as One makes her excited to be a part of an effort where everyone–even college students– has the opportunity to participate.
Freedom Through Subscription
At first, Mikayla was unsure about not being able to pick the subscription products she wanted. Now, she loves it! Explaining “I find this to be the greatest part of the entire subscription. I’m able to try things that I would have never thought to try before, such as the chocolate covered mulberries. I thought mulberries and me didn’t get along— I was wrong.”
After receiving her subscription and reading through the producer stories, Mikayla picked out specific producers whose story touched her heart, and decided to help even more. She ordered rice, snack bars, tea and more. “Here I was, spending my usual grocery money that I would have otherwise spent on the same items from the store. Instead, I used this money to not only purchase food, but also to empower men and women around then globe and ensuring their skill is met with my purchase— providing them jobs and not charity so that they may be able to provide for their families and communities.”
A new perspective and finishing thoughts
“It’s very easy to become inspired and want to help. We are all aware to some extent. Many of us just don’t know how we can help. Trade as one allows me to take action, not just become inspired in a moment of clarity. When you get your first box, it is filled with not just goodies, but stories of where each item comes from. Suddenly, that jasmine rice from AlterEco makes you aware of the typical mass-produced rice we buy off the shelves from large grocery corporations.Try cooking both for dinner. I’ll tell you, you will taste a difference!”
When asked for her favorite product, she said it was hard to choose just one because with each new box comes more favorites. But a couple items stood out; she even gave some recipe ideas, too! She loved the cashews, and tossed them in GloryBee honey (also in the Spring Box), and coated them in sesame seeds, paprika, and cinnamon. Her next favorite is the Mango and Pinapple jam from Eswatini Kitchen. Just cook and cut up chicken, mix with this jam, and you have your own version of Orange Chicken. But if she had to chose one item that really topped all others, it would be the GloryBee honey. “I always need a good bottle of honey in my pantry. This is the best honey I’ve ever had! Liquid gold and so affordable.”
Like we said, Mikayla is not your typical college student, and we are honored to have her as a subscriber!