It’s always hard for me to know how to start these blog posts; in a lot of ways it feels like my personal blog, but I’m aware, first, that this isn’t about me, and second, many of you don’t know who “I” am. So maybe we can start fresh(ish), I’ll give a few background details for those who don’t know, and we’ll build our “working” relationship from there.
My name is Tara and I’m the founder of No.41. Most of the blogs you’ll read here will come from me. I’ve been living in Rwanda for the better part of 7 years and I just recently built a house here, so it would seem I’ll be here for at least a few more. I have a unique family; four grown boys (19-24) all living at home; they didn’t have the easiest start in life, but are determined not to be defined by it. At various levels, they are working hard to finish up high school and then take on life from there. We also have a sweet baby girl (10 months) who joined our family when she was just 10 days old. Our house is directly behind the current shop that we rent for No.41. We are in the (roller coaster) process of raising funds to buy/build a shop all our own and are praying and believing that this will happen this year.
Our behind the scenes team at No.41 is small, but mighty, and though I have had lots(ssss) of help along the way, it has always been on a volunteer basis and, to-date, my mom has been our most consistent “volunteer”. Her name is Kerry, she lives in Oklahoma, and she is in charge of product fulfillment, occasional accounting fires, and any other random US operations that pop up. If you’ve ever sent an email to our website, it was probably my mom you were talking to (and she may or may not have been posing as me). She’s also a social media bada** (wink, wink) so, if you’re a friend of No.41, Kerry Rollins Burcham will likely be your first like/love on any new posts. You’re welcome.
So, there’s me, my mom, and this year we hired our first, part-time, US employee. Lacey has interned with No.41 several times in Rwanda; she knows most of our team (they are obsessed with her!) and she has heard their stories and invested their hopes and dreams for the future. Lacey shares our heart for empowerment, and we are over the moon to have her as our voice on social media. It’s also worth noting that most of our team can do a killer impersonation of Lacey’s voice. (Insert lots of screaming and cackles of laughter.)
Now on to the stars of the show, our Rwandan team. Some of them you may already know and love, the others we are thrilled to welcome on board and they are equally excited to be here.
So that's it for now, except that the best news for you is with the introduction of so many new team members comes so many new products! Our first launch is set for Wednesday, July 11th, and we cannot wait for you to see what all we’ve been up to… lots of new kitchen and home accessories, some things for the oilers, a few goodies for those of you with a green thumb, and of course, a few new bags. After that, we'll be back soon to introduce you to our three new artisan partners!
Thank you so much for following along with us. The lives of each and every one of us in this post have been changed because of you, your support, and your love. xo
**Photos by Sarah B. Sasson