A Journey to Women's Empowerment: South India 2018

 20th Nov 2018 |  Travel |  Fritha Mason


Secret Projects first ever customer trip was a great success! Both our Makers and our customers enjoyed meeting with one another and sharing their hopes and dreams. Want to find out more about our upcoming trips? Click here! 

The aim of the trip was to spend time together and learn how empowerment is sparked through our Training for Empowerment Programme. The Makers were able to explain how being part of Secret Projects has helped them grow in confidence and pull together resources for them to start their own micro-enterprises.

The customers visited seven of our Maker Groups in four different Southern states. They spent time understanding the unique local context for each group, both the opportunities and the challenges. The customers asked questions and shared their reflections on meeting the Makers. 

Time was carved out of the trip to make Secret Sari Necklaces made from scrap sari fabrics. And of course there was plenty of time to shop!

A huge thank you to the intrepid customers Sally, Claire, Ngarie, Esther, Joanna and Lesley who came on the trip knowing they were the first! By coming and sharing with us, and providing us with their feedback, they have helped ensure that all our future customer trips will be the very best that they can possibly be. 

A special thanks to Secret Pillow Project India for organising and hosting the trip!

Testimonials from the trip:

"This is a unique opportunity to hear the stories of what life is like for many women in India and to understand how this wonderful social enterprise is making such a difference to their lives. Every group is different and you will be alternately touched, inspired and uplifted. The route takes you from the  buzz of the city to the peace of the forest with a myriad of sights, sounds and tastes to experience - but do leave some space in your suitcase as there are a lot of lovely things to tempt you to take home as reminders of your trip!" - Joanna

Check out our future trips: 

November 2019 - A Journey to Women's Empowerment: North India 

January 2020 - A Journey to Women's Empowerment: South India 

We are also in the process of developing an itinerary for a textile exploration trip to Kutch in Gujarat in western India. Click here to find out more about this trip. 

To reserve your place on one of these trips, please email travel@secretprojects.org

More

A further 1000 Secret Face Masks have been stitched by our Makers and distributed to communities in Andhra Pradesh

A further 1000 Secret Face Masks have been stitched by our Makers and distributed to communities in Andhra Pradesh

After reporting about the making and distributing of over 1000 Secret Face Masks in the Sundarbans, we are so proud to shout that a further 1000 masks . . . have been stitched and distributed in another Indian region. Made lovingly by our Nature Maker Group, based in Andhra Pradesh, the women have earned much needed income from their sewing that will be used to support themselves and their families. These masks have been distributed to communities in the region, to young people and adults in schools as well as the wider community. Having now distributed over 2000 masks, our aim is to keep going to reach 10,000 masks and our appeal will run until 2022. Please help us to reach our goal by sponsoring a pack/s of Secret Face Masks here. HUGE thanks to everyone who has got us this far! Photo: The women of Secret Projects Maker Group Nature, holding their completed face masks. 
Continue reading >
Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Secret Projects on C4 Grand Designs

Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Secret Projects on C4 Grand Designs

Press Release: Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Secret Projects on C4 Grand designs Date of release 20/12/19 She always had Grand Designs!!! As a . . . young girl Founder and CEO of Secret Projects Fritha Mason had a great school friend and was often at her house after school and during the holidays. One of the things Fritha loved most about the house was the pillows... Designed by her friend's mother and called Secret Pillows, they folded out into cosy blankets that Fritha would snuggle under, and she decided that she wanted to fill homes around the world with them! Flash forwards several years and Fritha had had a long and successful career in the charity sector but had never forgotten about the Secret Pillows and her desire to sell them around the globe was as strong as ever. By now, she had also worked out how she could combine this with another of her passions to empower women in India- a country she had come to know and love. It was whilst travelling around India on the back of a motorbike that Fritha met some wonderful women living in remote regions who were desperately trying to eke out a living by making flower garlands for people to buy as gifts at local temples. Fritha noticed that in most of the homes she visited there was always a sewing machine and was told by the women that they knew how to stitch well but had no idea how to earn an income by selling items they had stitched locally. It was at this point that Fritha knew how she and the women could work together and Secret Projects was born! The first product made by women for Secret Projects was of course, the Secret Pillow and Fritha's dream came true. Hundreds of Secret Pillows have been sold since 2014 when Secret Projects was founded, and they grace beds, sofas and chairs both indoors and outdoors throughout the world. Dreams do come true. Flash forwards a few more years and Fritha is nicely settled down with the man of her dreams, Olaf who just happens to be a master carpenter and decided to build them a house. It's not any ordinary house either and the build has been followed by Grand Designs and is one of the homes featured during Grand Designs autumn 2021 series. There is a fitting end to this story, Fritha's own home is now filled with Secret Pillows, and she feels proud to have helped make many people's houses around the world comfortable, as having a home to call our own is so important. Fritha suggested that she and Olaf 'go for' Grand Designs as she thought it was a great way to get Secret Pillows on television!!! They never for a second believed that they would make it on to the show, but thought, nothing ventured, nothing gained! The rest is history, as they say and watch out for Kevin McCloud sitting at Fritha and Olaf's firepit, surrounded by Secret Pillows! And... there is one final fitting end! Fritha's other dream has always been to fill her home with children! She and Olaf are both foster parents, caring for a young man, with plans to look after other children too. Their own daughter Lagertha (to be known day to day as La La) took a while to appear, but after a couple of years of 'trying' and a round of IVF she sprang into the world in March 2021 bang in the middle of building the house with Grand Designs deadline looming! So... the house has 4 bedrooms and 3 of these will be filled with children among the many Secret Pillows! View the episode here. Secret Projects is proud to share this story of hope that highlights dreams can come true at the same time as helping others to achieve their dreams too. Grand Designs aired 8th Sept ‘21 at 8pm C4 To learn more about Secret Projects please visit our Learn About Us section on our website Please find attached below a pdf copy of this press release for your reference. For more information and to request images, please contact our PR Manager, Sophie at: pr@secretprojects.org 
Continue reading >
We are eBay for Change Hero Sellers of the month! To celebrate, we have 30% off all Secret Products in our eBay store!

We are eBay for Change Hero Sellers of the month! To celebrate, we have 30% off all Secret Products in our eBay store!

What does it mean to be an eBay for Change Hero Seller? It's pretty simple and pretty cool! It's a way that clever eBay introduce us as one of their . . . eBay for Change Sellers to their HUGE customer base by hosting Secret Projects eBay store on the home page of eBay! So, in short, shoppers go on to the page and there is Secret Projects to check out! It's a fabulous opportunity for us to promote Secret Products (the name we give to our Ranges of clothing and homeware) to a whole new group of customers! We are celebrating by offering 30% off Secret Products stocked in our eBay for Change store until 15th October '21! We have a growing range of Secret Products on our eBay for Change store from Secret Pillows, the cutest skirts for children to our iconic Secret Sari Dresses.  There is a wide and gorgeous Range to choose from and whether you are shopping for yourself or wanting to find a unique gift, our eBay store is the place to go! Click the link below to shop: https://bit.ly/SecretProjectsebaystore We are proud to be eBay for Change Hero Sellers and delighted to offer this discount to attract new customers and spread the story of Secret Projects further.      
Continue reading >