What is a Secret Leader? Read Secret Leader Molly’s interview to learn more…

What is a Secret Leader? Read Secret Leader Molly's interview to learn more...

 17th Jun 2019 |  Learn about us |  Fritha Mason

“In the unit we are not just colleagues, we are friends and family. We share so many things. They share their problems with me and I also share my problems with them. We eat together, we have fun, we talk about our lives. We take care of each other.”

This interview was carried out in the ladies' compartment of the Kolkata to Canning Town train...

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself and the project that you lead…

I lead a sewing unit in West Bengal, two hours outside of Kolkata, where we make Secret Sari Dresses. The Secret Sari Dress Prevention Through Production programme is a very positive project for the unit and the Makers. It arrived at a time when the future of the unit was uncertain, so the project truly changed our lives. With support from Secret Projects and the Secret Sari Dress order we were able to build up the unit and prove what we are capable of. The Secret Sari Dress She Rocks campaign has left us feeling very motivated and we are very excited for future order.

  1. What motivates you as a Secret Leader?

The Secret Sari Dress project is very different to other projects that I have led in the past as it is a global project with huge impact. It was only our unit making the order, so we feel very connect to the Secret Sari Dress as a product. We also feel very connected to the women everywhere making our dresses. I see all the photos on Instagram and always show them to the other Makers. This really excites us. One of the girls in the unit was inspired by the fabrics of the She Rocks collection and made a burqa for herself in similar leopard print fabric.

  1. Do you notice any changes in yourself as a result of leading this project?

I can see so many changes in myself. I have worked with big businesses in the past, but the Secret Sari Dress order gives me more confidence in the quality of our production as a unit. I feel very confident and proud as a designer and Maker.

My English has improved so much and I feel so much more confident when talking. In previous jobs, we had lots of foreign visitors but I felt too shy to fully share the stories of my girls. Instead, my line manager talked on our behalf. Now for the Secret Sari Dress project I am the main point of contact. There is no intermediate. So I had to step in and be the main communicator for my girls. Everyone at Secret Projects is so patient and they really encourage me. When I look in the mirror I feel like a different person.

  1. Do you notice any changes in the other Makers involved in the project?

I have watched their growth from student to export-quality Maker. They now believe in themselves: they know that they can earn and be independent. I can see their increase in confidence in the way that they interact with me and other who come to visit the unit.

  1. How do you see your project developing in the future?

The Secret Sari Dress project is a really good model to change our lives and help in the continuation of our unit. I know that Secret Projects believes in us and in the high-quality products we can maker, so I know that we can work together to develop and make new and different products in the future. By working together on the Secret Sari Dress project we have captured the whole world. We can continue to have a huge impact together.

  1. What would you like to say to your customers and supporters?

I do not think of it as a seller/customer relationship as the women who buy and wear Secret Sari Dresses do not buy things. They are sharing their love for the girls. They are sharing hope. They are building up human beings. They are not giving money, but they are giving the women power and the ability to change their lives. Our unit is full of hope after the Secret Sari Dress She Rocks campaign.

  1. What would you say to others who have a similar project in mind that they would like to put into action?

When people ask me how we built up the unit from a time of real difficulty, I tell them:

  • Always be honest.
  • Always work to your 100% and be totally involved and present in your work.
  • Believe in your work.
  • At times when you feel down, think about the impact of your project.


ADAPT - our latest product range has been launched and production is underway

ADAPT - our latest product range has been launched and production is underway

ADAPT FOR WHATEVER COMES YOUR WAY! What is ADAPT? It's a range of 8 stylish cases in a variety of colourways that help women  move from one role to . . . another in their lives.  Whether it's protecting your computer in  ADAPT laptop case or keeping your valuables safe and in one place whilst at the gym with ADAPT accessories case, ADAPT range has a useful case to help keep one organised! Crowdfunding! We were excited (and, if we are honest, a little nervous) about launching ADAPT through a crowdfunding campaign. The nerves stemmed from not having run a crowdfunding campaign for a number of years - not since we decided to sell Secret Projects and transform the business into the wonderful Community Benefit Society it is today, as we offered the opportunity for people to purchase shares. The nerves soon went as we embarked on the wild ride that is a crowdfunding campaign and we are absolutely delighted to shout proudly that we raised £1,200, and this has enabled us to begin production of ADAPT - our new range! Our Makers (the name we give to the groups of women who lovingly stitch our collections of clothing, accessories and homeware) have begun work on the range and we are beyond delighted to be able to offer these amazing women fairly paid work that uses their skills effectively and provides income to support themselves, their families and children. This is what lies at our very heart and why we exist. A huge thank you We can't of course announce this exciting project without saying a HUGE thank you to everyone who made a contribution to our crowdfunding campaign to get production of  ADAPT of the ground and up and running! We are very grateful to each and everyone of you. So, production of our latest product range begins, and we love the thought that we have helped to make life a little easier for women as they transition from one role to another in their lives. ADAPT for whatever comes your way!
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Secret Projects has begun to deliver the World Fair Trade Organization eBay for Change store

Secret Projects has begun to deliver the World Fair Trade Organization eBay for Change store

Working with The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO) to deliver their eBay for Change store Our Head of Sales, Fritha Vincent Mason is constantly . . . looking for 'new business' for Secret Projects. By doing this and grasping new opportunities that come our way, our vision of a world where all women have the confidence and resources to make choices, thrive and contribute to the strengthening of their communities comes ever closer. In the past few months, Fritha has been networking with Social Enterprise UK, Ebay for Change, and WFTO and the result is that Secret Projects will now deliver WFTO's eBay for Change store. The store sells beautiful fair trade products from around the globe and supports the most wonderful small businesses and artisans to receive what is fair for their products and labour. The store is now live! This is a wonderful step for Secret Projects, as we diversify and seize this new venture with both hands, using our skills to strengthen the business for both Secret Projects in the UK and in India. How will it work? We will house the stock for all the small businesses selling on WFTO eBay for Change store and one of the team will fulfill each order (that basically means parcel up the order and arrange delivery with a courier)and send them lovingly on their way to customers around the world. To shop please click here. We look forward to working with WFTO and helping to make a massive success of their new eBay for Change store.  
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Our clothing and homeware is now available for wholesale purchase on Faire

Our clothing and homeware is now available for wholesale purchase on Faire

Secret products (the collective name we give to our ranges of clothing and homeware) are now available for wholesale purchase on Faire. What is . . . Faire? Faire is a global wholesale market-place that provides an excellent platform for small, independent retailers to sell their stock to small wholesale suppliers. What are we selling on Faire? Secret Projects is selling beautiful counter boxes with foldable shopping bags and scrunchies and the Secret Pillow as a totally new look! How can you help? Do you know of anyone who runs a shop, or a brick-and-mortar establishment? If so, please give them a shout Secret Projects is proud to have launched on this popular platform with a brand-new merchandising look. If you know anyone who runs a shop, or brick-and-mortar establishment, please do let them know that Secret Projects is selling on Faire.  
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