I was recently asked why I started my business Clutch 4 Humankind.
Dozens of thoughts were swirling around in my head - I was trying to bring to the front, the one that most made sense. The one that would make sense to you the reader. To all those people 'out there' who assume that I had a dream to live a righteous life and save the world.
It was 1993, London. The day started like any other, but by nightfall 'stupidity' (according to some) was in motion. My sister and I were in a pub, and were more than a few ales down when an audacious plan was hatched to cycle through North West Africa on mountain bikes. Within months we were off and as we cycled out of eyesight of a small dusty town in the middle of the Sahara Desert, I couldn't help but have a deep feeling that life, and ourselves, were about to change forever.
There we were, two Kiwi women pedaling down a sandy piste, terribly wet behind the ears, but with the sun shining and enough water to last a day. And so it was that we forged our way, some 10,000 km down through the Sahara, Mauritania, Guinea, Mali and eventually on to Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
This was a journey remembered by the diverse people along the way. The fleeting connections, and mostly joyous, always interesting conversations with those on the trail. With people who were different than us and who would never have the privilege of a life like ours. The mark they left through their generosity, kindness, and sense of community.
The memories stayed with me. Though faded and a little crinkled around the edges the heart of what is important to live a happy life remained - without community and connection there is nothing. In 2019 Clutch 4 Humankind was born. Focusing on street art inspired clutch purses, my wish was to create a vehicle to donate to those in need, and to ignite conversations - create connections between people.
We love the diversity of humankind. Hearing personal stories. Creating conversations that connect.
We love the textures, colours and infinite possibilities that arise from a piece of cloth. The power of colour to ignite happiness, or a single piece of clothing to lift your mood.
Our desire is that our clutch purses will give you confidence. The confidence to spark a conversation that matters and to create connections that will uplift one and other.
My wish for you, is that today you take the time to listen to someone's 'story' and that you notice the power of just one conversation to impact and uplift a life around you.
Listening is free.
So is kindness.
Alex Jeffries - Founder, Clutch 4 Humankind
Pictured here with the Ann Clutch. Ann lives in Northern Uganda and you can read her personal story here