Dreamaid - its commerce with a soul, allowing customers to buy original hand crafted goods and helps artists to help themselves - we like to call it art & soul.
It is undeniable that these are tough times in the international marketplace. At periods like this we may turn to our hobbies for enjoyment, release and perhaps to sustain an income. What a pleasure it would be if we were able to sustain a reasonable living from the skills which we enjoy most. How much more wonderful it would be if in achieving our own personal aim of making money from our endeavours, we were able to participate in a global community of like-minded people and simultaneously to engage with, assist and care for those less fortunate than ourselves.
Dreamaid represents a breakthrough in thinking of the relationship between business and charity.
As youngsters we are filled with imagination and a great vision for a brighter better world. We vow to improve, enhance and create a better world. However, as we become older it is sometimes difficult to retain that youthful vision, drive and passion as the dayís events take over our lives.
I have been very fortunate to have travelled widely in my international career and witnessed a great deal of difficulty and abject poverty around the world. I have frequently been mesmerised at the quality of craftsmanship displayed in even the smallest of African, Southeast Asian, Indian, Chinese or Brazilian villages. These people frequently depend heavily upon their craftsmanship and ability to sell their goods to maintain their families.
I have long aspired to creating a business which added value on a global scale but not just for the wealthier people of the world but also, if possible, creating opportunities for those less fortunate. It was when travelling across Kenya on safari with my teenage children that I was reminded of the passion for life that youth possesses when simultaneously confronted by serious poverty, marvellous craftsmanship and a zest for life that lives in memory long afterwards.
This picture captures a moment when our tour truck stopped near by a group of local ladies working at their crafts in order to sell to travelling tourists. I will never forget the look of desperation on the face of the lady on the left picture as she sought to sell yet another carving that had probably taken her many hours to create for only a few dollars. How wonderful it would be if this person was able to sell that giraffe at a price which reflected its real value, I thought. The two young people in the photo in the midst of the throng of women selling their wares are my son and daughter. Seeing this event through their youthful eyes was the starting point for the creation of Dreamaid.
The vision for Dreamaid is remarkably simple. We want to create a truly symbiotic relationship between business and charity. By charitable investment in poorer areas we will set free local artists to enable them to have access to wealthier markets. This creation of a wider market access will strengthen Dreamaids capabilities to add value in the global marketplace. In turn this will drive further investment in Dreamaidís charity to expand our global access to more local artists, thereby creating a worldwide network of buyers and sellers of artworks and handicrafts which has at its heart a soul. Where Art meets Soul...
The year after our trip through Kenya we visited the hill tribes of Thailand and travelled South to Krabi where we met a wonderful deaf artist called Kenny. We had tested the idea of Dreamaid with a number of artists and handicrafts people around Thailand. This included an interesting enterprise where they fabricated greeting cards, diaries and calendars from elephant dung. However, Kenny captured our imagination as she spoke in a mixture of sign language and handwriting of her enthusiasm for the Dreamaid concept with tears in her eyes. We promised that we would deliver the Dreamaid concept and here it is.
Dreamaid is a serious commercial enterprise. It operates under the same fiscal control as the other businesses in which I have been involved since 1992. I do not believe that charity of itself will in the long-term yield breakthroughs. I do believe that charitable assistance can help alleviate current problems and help strengthen poorer areas. In the longer term a greater understanding of business and trade will help raise the standards of the less fortunate. Dreamaid will be a successful business and will work in direct liaison with the Dreamaid charity in order to be first a successful business in its own right and secondly to help grow business capabilities amongst the less fortunate. This symbiotic relationship has enormous potential for creating opportunities for people all over the world in a caring but economically viable and sustainable manner.
I thank you for your interest in Dreamaid and hope that you will enjoy your experience with us and learn to love our business model and brand. Your patience as we go through our inevitable teething problems is most respectfully requested but your enthusiasm and vibrant participation in our global community would be most seriously appreciated ;)
On behalf of the Dreamaid community,
Peter McAteer Bsc C.Eng C.Dir FIMMM MIoDManaging Director