Secret Projects Community Benefit Society is one-year old!

 23rd Sep 2020 |  Blog |  Margaret Ring


It seems like only yesterday that Secret Projects founder and CEO, Fritha Mason, made the decision to put the business up for sale, meaning that anyone, whether old or young could purchase shares and... Secret Projects Community Benefit Society sprang into life! We are now owned by a body of 264 Shareholders and are proud to count a group of young people among our numbers - the next generation of social and ethical investors!

What a year it's been! We can only describe our journey over the last 12 months as almost surreal, not least that within 5 months we found ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic with countries around the world in lockdown. As soon as the reality of the situation became clear, we made a firm decision that we were going to survive and adapt the organisation to ensure that when lockdowns began to ease, we could get our bearings once more and thrive.

We knew that to survive, immediate action was needed and we put a raft of measures in place to protect Secret Projects, going into lockdown as a business to protect our Maker Community and team. In the UK, we took advantage of the government's furlough scheme for employees and applied for a government backed loan offered to businesses to assist during such an unprecedented time. In India we explored what help the government might be able to offer and put plans in place to sell 45% of our India subsidiary company's share capital to Shareholders who want to help grow the business and support our mission to empower women.

Our major concern was of course, for our Maker Community and we took great pains to contact the women to update them about our situation and to assure them that we were going to survive, with plans to begin production as soon as possible after the easing of lockdown. Fortunately, prior to the pandemic, we had made changes to our payment methods to Makers and began to send their money via bank transfer, rather than by cheque. This was invaluable, as obviously we couldn't travel to hand out the cheques and it also meant that we could get money to the women at this critical time.

At the forefront of our minds we kept believing that somehow, we could find a way to 'future proof' Secret Projects against other similar situations in a way that would still give us good access to our Maker Community, regardless of travel or other restrictions. We hit on a concept to deliver our training virtually and we are busy putting product training videos and materials together to be delivered to our Maker Communities via courier. We are planning to carry on this with this method for the foreseeable future - and so, our thriving began!

The thriving continues... our on-line retails stores are now open for shopping with customers being able to make purchases in Euro's, Rupees, GBP as well as US Dollars. We believe that this can only lead to the story of Secret Projects spreading to a wider and wider audience - our dream! Gorgeous new Secret Projects have raised their heads - from blankets to kimonos and one of our Maker Groups in West Bengal is back in production, with others to follow. The thriving list gets longer each week!

Our Shareholders are a massive support to us and we continue to give others the opportunity to purchase shares to join us on our journey to empower. And so, we begin our second year knowing that the world is still in an unpredictable position and it's not at all easy for businesses around the globe, but with a quiet confidence that our foundations are firm and will help us continue to thrive.

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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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Our CEO Fritha and her partner Olaf announce the birth of their gorgeous little girl, Lagertha!

Our CEO Fritha and her partner Olaf announce the birth of their gorgeous little girl, Lagertha!

We are absolutely over the moon to say hello to the newest member of the Secret Projects Team! Mother, Father and child are doing well and enjoying . . . spending time together as a family, getting to know each other. Fritha wrote: 'Olaf and I are delighted to announce the early arrival of our daughter Lagertha Amy Lesley Mason. She was born on 19th March 2021. Her name sakes are: Lagertha - a Viking Queen who is one of the first noted shield maidens in history. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagertha Amy Cowell and Lesley Pearce - both women in my life who have turned their passion for art, textiles, designing and fashion technology into successful vocations, giving them endless purpose and fulfillment. Olaf and I are tumbling down the biggest hill, falling madly, utterly and completely in love with La La (nickname). Lagertha/La La is a personification of 2 of my favourite mantras: Dare to Dream - DTD and Just Keep Going - JKG. Thank you for joining us in welcoming Lagertha to our terrific and loving world!' #lockdownbaby2021 We wish all 3 joy and Fritha and Olaf not too many sleepless nights.    
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#SheRocks and #SecretSariDressCampaign - Join us this International Women's Day and throughout March

#SheRocks and #SecretSariDressCampaign - Join us this International Women's Day and throughout March

#SheRocks and our annual #SecretSariDressCampaign are a MASSIVE part of the life of Secret Projects - centred particularly around our Secret Sari . . . Dresses and International Women's Day. What is #SheRocks? #SheRocks is a global community of women and men sharing their power to drive women's empowerment in India in a wide variety of ways, working alongside Secret Projects! What is #SecretSariDressCampaign? Working with #SheRocks, we have put together our annual #SecretSariDressCampaign based around our Secret Sari Dress that launches each International Women's Day. This community led, powerful campaign is an integral part of the Secret Projects calendar and is HUGE! Learn more about #SheRocks and #SecretSariDress here. #SheRocks and #SecretSariDressCampaign 2021 We want as many people to join us this March as we celebrate not only ALL women, but the thousands of musicians around the globe who haven't been able to perform in public for months due to Covid-19. We also celebrate The Big Issue Group that strives to dismantle poverty through creating opportunity and in the process has become one of the most recognised and trusted brands in the UK - we are proud that they stock the Secret Sari Dress in their online retail shop! HERE'S WHAT TO DO TO GET INVOLVED... On International Women's Day on March 8th 2021, OR ANYTIME THROUGHOUT MARCH... Buy a Secret Sari Dress (SSD) or use the one you already have! Click here to purchase yours. Pop it on and jazz yourself up in anyway you want! Stand in front of a mirror and video yourself either: dancing to your favourite song by your favourite band/musician in your head (you will add the actual music shortly!) or take a boomerang video picture of yourself, or simply sashay around in your Secret Sari Dress - whatever you are comfortable with. A still photograph of you in your SSD is perfect too! Go to your Instagram page and on your profile picture click the add icon Go to your camera roll and click the video you have just made At the top of the page, you will see a 'smiley face' icon - please click Go to @MENTION and tag in @secretsaridress, @bigissueshop and the band/musician you are singing along to. Next go to #HASHTAG and tag #IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge #SheRocks and #SecretSariDress and the band/musician you are singing along to. Click on the MUSIC button and search for your song. You will be able to add 15 seconds of the song. You will see that there are a number of featured stickers you can also add - so, please add any that appeal to you! Click next and then add to story and boom you are done!!! We can't wait to see your videos. You rock!!! Click here to learn more Join us this International Women's Day with #SheRocks for #SecretSariDressCampaign 2021! Photo: #SheRocks community member, Secret Sari Dress advocate and great friend of Secret Projects, Whitney shows the versatility of the Secret Sari Dress!
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