Today’s Colourful Local Identity is Joanna Gurung from One Village Riverview
ITC chose Joanna as a colourful identity because she is a woman who practices what she preaches – she believes in fair trade and helping others out and that is what her business model is all about. ITC asked Joanna the following:
Why did you start One Village?
I started One Village as I saw a demand for ethically produced, beautiful products in our local community. Products that make you feel good and have a really positive energy behind them. I had travelled extensively in India and Nepal and saw beautiful products being made by true artisans, whose talents have been passed down through generations. I also saw terrible tragedies of modern consumerism and thought that I could do a little tiny bit to help turn that around. I also quickly saw beautiful products coming from designers closer to home, so One Village tries to support some of our local artisans to promote and sell their products!
What is the philosophy behind your business?
One Village is about respecting the artisan who produce every single product, whether it is the bees with the beeswax candles or the printers who stamp our block printed fabrics. We try to be sustainable and ethical – but fun and contemporary at the same time!
What is fair trade and why is fair trade important?
Fair trade is simply about a better deal for the artisans who produce our products. There are 10 underlying principles of fair trade which includes:
- Creating Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers;
- Transparency and Accountability;
- Fair Trading Practices;
- Payment of a Fair Price;
- Ensuring no Child Labor and Forced Labor;
- Commitment to Non Discrimination, Gender Equity and Freedom of Association;
- Ensuring Good Working Conditions;
- Providing Capacity Building;
- Promoting Fair Trade;
- Respect for the Environment;
However, for me Fair Trade is even more than just the producers, it is about how we treat our customers too. I like to think that I carry the Fair Trade principles (except the child labour because my son Dash has been known to sweep the floor of my shop) all the way through to my customers too! Fair Trade is important as I believe it is the future of all of our transactions and respect is a core value to most humans as is karma.
Why did you choose Lane Cove/Riverview to set up your business?
Because I live here. I love my community and I have a young child whom I want to be near. The shop at York’s Corner (Riverview) offered a great little space to start, the park next door (where Dash could play when it was quiet) and a great community of people who support small business and who love to chat with me over a coffee – which is probably what I love the most!
What did you do before you opened One Village?
I have had a wide range of career experience – is that what you call it when you are a nomad?? I have a Bachelor of Science in Biology, I have done research, travelled, volunteered and worked as a travel agent. Immediately before One Village, and for the first few months I was the charity group manager at adventure travel company World Expeditions.
What is the best girlfriend present in the shop?
Hand woven woollen belts from Peru. Made for Jenny Krauss (NY based designer) these belts are made in the highlands of Peru. They are super funky, quite unique as every women can interpret the pattern their own way and really stylish.
Tell us about your new enterprise Myadashi.
I have a beautiful new brand called Myadashi (after my business partner and my children – Maya and Dashi). We have designed a range of home textiles that are hand printed on organic cotton by fair trade artisans in Jaipur. The range is contemporary and we are looking at wholesaling to homewares shops and larger stores. Hopefully, ethically produced textiles can become more mainstream. Our first range includes tabletops and kids quilts
What is your vision for Lane Cove?
I would love to see an expansion of local businesses. So that it is not just food and services. I think we often forget that shops, local shops, who support our community are the lifeblood of a vibrant community hub. This is a topic I am passionate about so could rave for hours – but essentially I would like to see a variety of boutique shops to add to the flavour of the area. I don’t want any more chains… you can go to Westfield for that. I want to see the local pharmacist who you know cares, or the bootmaker who knows your name – or the awesome coffee shops who know what you want without ordering or if you forget your change say ‘just pay me next time’. I want to see shops that inspire our community and I want to see landlords drop their rents!
What other shops would you like to see in Lane Cove?
I would like to see more clothing, services including Medicare, RTA etc, a co-op food shop – My Shop (maybe) – a kids play space and activity centre. I’d rather not have to travel to Chatswood to buy the family’s basics.
Finally, which celebrity would you like as a customer?
I have a couple of super awesome ones already!! I would love to see someone super famous for doing nothing, like Kim Kardashian in my shop. First because it would generate heaps of publicity so people know we are here (haha) and second because it would be so incongruous that it would be kind of cool!
One Village is located at 59A Tambourine Bay Road Riverview (Lane Cove)
One Village’s Contact Number is: 02 8021 5172