From the Heart of ... our team...

 9th Sep 2020 |  From The Heart Of... |  Margaret Ring

We are so happy to bring a new series of stories - From the Heart of...

Through this collection of stories, we want to take you to the centre of Secret Projects, right to our heart to discover what drives us as we journey towards our vision of of a world where all women have the confidence and resources to make choices, thrive and contribute to the strengthening of their communities.

What keeps us going? What joy and love do we encounter on the way to womens' empowerment? Read on as we begin, over the coming weeks, with our team - a group of committed and wonderful individuals who really are at the heart of Secret Projects...

We start with our Communications Manager, Margaret Ring... we asked her a number of questions about her Secret Projects life and her home life - here is what she has to say!

Question: In a nutshell what does your role at Secret Projects consist of?

Margaret: It's a fabulous role and I am not just saying that for PR reasons!!! I basically oversee our communications, from social media, our newsletters, brand guidelines to our website. I work closely with our Directors, which is great and I am learning so much. A large part of my role is to weave  our latest news into wonderful stories and send them out into the world to spread the story of Secret Projects to a wider and wider audience... and what's not to love about a job where much time is spent writing stories!


Question: Is there a typical day in you role? What does it look like?

Margaret: My role is so varied, fast paced and exciting that there isn't really a typical day and I absolutely love that!  No room for getting bored! I do have tasks that I need to complete each month such as getting With Heart our monthly newsletter pulled together and posts for Social Media, but I go with the flow and as a team we all 'jump on' what is our priority. I begin my day by catching up on emails and messages via our various 'Whatsapp' groups and then I see what is needed next...

Question: What did you do before Secret Projects?

Margaret: I have worked in the charity sector for many years now. I spent 14 years as a Volunteer and Project Manager at Voluntary Service Overseas, sending medical volunteers  around the world, to share their skills and help marginalised communities. My last position before joining Secret Projects was as a Project Manager and Fundraiser for a small charity, Adventure Ashram. A fantastic organisation that works hard to provide funds for small grass roots NGO's in India and this is where my deep love for India sprang from. It's also where I met Fritha, our CEO!

Question: How does your role at Secret Projects empower you?

Margaret: In so, so many ways! As part of a small team, we all need to be able to turn our hands to tasks that we might not have much experience in. I find this both thrilling and nerve-wracking at the same time! It feels amazingly empowering when I have learned something new to help me work smarter and to add to my repertoire! I love the way the Directors allow me to take on new areas for my self development and actively encourage the team to develop new skills. That is so empowering!

Question: What do you find most fulfilling about working at Secret Projects?

Margaret: I think it's the impact that we make within our Maker Groups, as the women earn an income to support themselves and their families. Our Makers don't want hand-outs, but to be given an opportunity use their sewing skills to earn money and that is exactly what Secret Projects provides. I find it so fulfilling to play a small role in this powerful model.

Question: Tell us a little about your life away from Secret Projects.

Margaret: I live in South London with my husband Johnny, a photographer, 20 year old son, Charlie, who is currently on a training programme for a company that hires cameras and lighting equipment to the TV and film industry and our dog, Marple, a beautiful creature, we re-homed from a rescue centre. She and I are pictured together!

I love living in London, but do enjoy escaping to the countryside and love going for long walks in the fresh air. One of my greatest passions is to travel and I visit India as often as I can - it's my favourite country and I adore the vibrancy of the culture.

I do some voluntary work (helping with their communications) for a small charity that works in the Spiti Valley in the Himalayas and find this very rewarding. Now my son is grown up, I have more time for voluntary work and it's something that I really enjoy.

And to end - a few other things about me... I loathe having to clean my house, am constantly frustrated that there is always washing to do... finally... I feel very happy as I walk Marple early in the morning - it sets me up for the day!


Let's finish with a bit of light-hearted fun!

Question: Dancing or walking?

Margaret: Dancing when I am on my own!!! (I'm not a good dancer!!!) I can walk for miles!

Question: Going out for the evening or staying at home?

Margaret: As I am getting older, it's definitely staying at home! I do love going out for lunch with friends these days.

Question: If you could have a one hour telephone conversation with anyone, who would it be?

Margaret: That's an interesting one... I think it would be Bishop Desmond Tutu. I really admire his strength, his open minded faith and compassion for humanity.

Question: As Secret Projects drives people to think about India what do you want to tell the world about India? What do you love most about the country?

Margaret: I would say go to India if you can. It is truly a place like no other - full of colour and life, but also hardship. I can't really explain how I feel when I am in India, there is such an energy and I feel privileged to have been able to explore communities away from the tourist trail.











Our Appeal - help us to make and distribute 10,000 Secret Face Masks to communities in India

Our Appeal - help us to make and distribute 10,000 Secret Face Masks to communities in India

The brainchild of Sumathi, Director and Shin, Marketing Manager of Social Power India (SPI), we would like to introduce an appeal to provide Secret . . . Face Masks, produced by women from our Maker Community and given free of charge to communities in need throughout India. The details... We want to make and distribute 10,000 Secret Face Masks Sponsorship costs are £20/€25/$30 for a pack of 20 children's masks and £25/€30/$35 for a pack of 25 adult's face masks Backers of our appeal are able to sponsor multiple packs of Secret Face Masks One of the most positive aspects of our appeal lies in the fact that not only will we be providing vital face masks for those in need, but women from our Maker Community who are able to work from home during lockdown, as we don't operate from a factory, can continue production of the masks and receive an income to support themselves, their families, and children during this incredibly difficult time. To sponsor Secret Face Masks for India Please follow these instructions carefully Please head to our online retail shops by clicking the links below. (Shop in GBP, Euros or US Dollars) Sponsor Secret Face Masks in GBP Sponsor Secret Face Masks in Euros Sponsor Secret Face Masks in US Dollars Select how many packs of 20 Secret Face Masks you would like to sponsor to be distributed in India by SPI and add these to your basket. Next, click the link in point number 2 of the instructions to choose a pack of 5 Secret Face Masks for yourself (available in both adults and children's sizes) at £10/€14/$15 per pack (the shipping is free) and again, add to your basket.* Finally, follow the instructions to complete your purchase, providing a shipping address.* *Please note that due to Indian export regulations, we do require our Customers, Friends and Shareholders who would like to contribute to our Secret Face Mask sponsorship appeal to purchase at least one pack of 5 Secret Face Masks for themselves, to be shipped out of India to their address. As Bengaluru is currently in lock down, we will ship your Secret Face Masks as soon as the restrictions lift. These instructions are repeated when you go to our online shops! How we plan to distribute the face masks Initially, we plan to provide free face masks for whoever is in need in and around Bengaluru, where we are based and in Andhra Pradesh, South-East India and the Sundarbans in the Bay of Bengal, where we can work with our NGO partners. In and around Bengaluru Shin and Sumathi have many contacts in and around the area who can help us. We will give face masks to hospitals as well as marginalised communities in the city, where many of our Makers live. Andhra Pradesh and the Sundarbans In both these areas we have very good links with NGO's who work with groups of marginalised women. We will liaise with our partners and provide them with the necessary fabric and funds for local women's sewing groups to make the masks, and the NGO's will arrange for their distribution. One of the most positive aspects of our appeal lies in the fact that not only will we be providing vital face masks for those in need, but women from our Maker Community will stitch the masks and receive an income to support themselves, their families and children during this incredibly difficult time. Thank you so much for your support.
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Our response to the Covid-19 situation in India. An update

Our response to the Covid-19 situation in India. An update

Many of us will have heard the distressing news from India about the shocking rate that the 2nd wave of Covid-19 is spreading throughout the country . . . and the tragic consequences. We are in constant touch with our team in India, who will be working from home for at least the next 14 days, as a lockdown has just been announced in Karnataka, the southern state where Secret Projects is based. All the team are well and have been working in as safe an environment as possible for the last year, ensuring that no-one enters the unit unless a member of the team or one of the Secret Projects Makers, washing hands regularly, always practising social distancing, plus keeping windows open. The team is making every effort to keep in touch with the Secret Projects Maker Community, calling Makers and doing everything they can to maintain contact. We have recently had an update from Molly, Leader of Molly's Sewing Unit, where our Secret Sari Dresses are made, telling us she too is well at present and staying positive. The safety and well-being of the team and our Makers is paramount, and we are supporting them from the UK in every way possible. Our 'USP' of not operating from a factory is proving invaluable during this time, as our Makers can work from home. Please continue to place orders for Secret Products to support our Makers as they work from home, to help continue to provide them with the necessary income they need to buy food and medicines, so vital during the pandemic. Click the link below to discover the numerous ways to shop for Secret Products. We know that you are joining us in keeping India in your thoughts.
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Our CEO takes part in 'The Psychology of Successful Women Podcast'. Listen and be inspired!

Our CEO takes part in 'The Psychology of Successful Women Podcast'. Listen and be inspired!

The Psychology of Successful Women Podcast with International Performance and Mind-set Consultant and Inspirational Speaker, Shona Rowan explores the . . . mindset, behaviour and success strategies of high-achieving women. Secret Projects CEO, Fritha Mason was recently invited to take part in this inspiration series to talk about her own journey in the business world as founder and CEO of Secret Projects. It's a fascinating conversation between Shona and Fritha, providing much insight not just into the passion that drove Fritha to found Secret Projects, but what drives her on a daily basis to keep moving forward and surmount the various challenges and obstacles she encounters as a business woman. To listen to the full Podcast click HERE  
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