Borders girl living life in the capital

My Johari Blog Post

This is my post that I wrote for the Johari blog.
Johari is an ethical fashion company that I did some work experience with over the summer. I had such a great time, learnt so much valuable knowledge and met some lovely people!

Please check out the
Johari website to read a bit more about the ethos of the business and have a look at the clothes and jewelery (I think they have a sale on at the moment as well!) 100% of the profits are reinvested back into community programmes in Kenya helping children and young adults towards a better future...its inspiring stuff!

A Volunteers Johari Experience
My name is Fiona Hunter and I am currently a student at Heriot Watt University in Galasheils in the Scottish Borders (formerly the Scottish College of Textiles). I am just going into my 3rd year studying Textile and Fashion Design Management and I have been volunteering with Johari one day a week throughout my summer holidays, from the beginning of June through to September.
I was on the lookout for work experience and heard about Johari through a family friend. I had a look on the website and straight away I loved the whole ethos of the Johari Foundation as well as being drawn in by the great clothing and jewellery designs so I was eager to get involved. I work in a Fair Trade cafe and so I am very interested in the philosophy behind the Johari designs as well as the business side of Johari.
I have had the privilege to help out in a lot of different areas whilst I have been here which has given me a wide range of knowledge to take away with me. Within my first few weeks I was asked for some design ideas which I was very happy to contribute and I was extremely privileged that my design ideas were being considered. I have also helped with an e-mail campaign that we have set up over the past few weeks which was extremely interesting in terms of finding exactly the right way to market and sell the products to the target customers. I have also contributed my thoughts in discussions about pricing, marketing, new products and many other aspects of the business. Whilst working here I have had the opportunity to attended two events in Edinburgh with Johari, The Edinburgh International Mela Festival and Fair Trade on the Fringe during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Both these events were very different in terms of customers and sales however it was very interesting and beneficial attending both of them. I had the opportunity to help backstage at the Mela fashion show as well as see the Johari designs on the catwalk which was a great experience.
Whilst volunteering I have gained an insight into the workings of a running business which is probably the most valuable thing I have gained from my time here. It seems to be the small things that may appear to be trivial that I think are the most important such as editing the website, doing stock takes and creating dispatch notes. I believe that this knowledge can only be attained from spending time in the working environment and is not something that can be taught.
I am very glad that I have been able to help with so many different things. Although I am definitely interested in going into the fashion world, I am unsure about what area I would like to work in. However whether it is marketing, management, design, buying or any other area that I might end up in, everything I have learn here at Johari will be very beneficial to me in the future. I also believe that from my time here I have gained a more in depth knowledge into a fair trade company and have been able to see for myself how close the link is from the clothes being made in Kenya and then being sold over here. I think that this knowledge will stick with me and will most definitely influence the way I shop. It is extremely inspirational to know that the way you choose to shop can influence someone else’s life.
I am extremely glad that I have had the privilege to work with such an inspirational company. I believe strongly in what the Johari foundation are doing and I am glad that I have had the opportunity to be involved. I have enjoyed the days spent here over the summer and I have made some very good friends within Johari. I am very grateful that everyone has been so friendly and helpful and I am looking forward to continuing to lend my support to Johari in the near future.

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