Archive for January, 2011

this blog is so powerful.

On Friday, I had the interns target the term “fair trade store” in our blog entries.  While we are coming up on the first page of google results for “fair trade,” we weren’t even the second page for “fair trade store.”

My reasoning for choosing this search term is that many people are searching for more information about the concept of fair trade when they google “fair trade” but if people want to buy products, they’re going to jump right in and hit “fair trade store.”  This cat and mouse game of keywords is what makes SEO so exciting.

It’s only monday, and we’re the second choice for “fair trade store.”

so fast - it happened in 4 days!


Hello world!

And we’re back, after a brief winter hiatus, wreaking havoc on the HTML, CSS, and sprys of the Beleza website. Right now, we’re focusing mainly on organizing the entire site, eliminating dead ends, standardizing the menus, and streamlining the whole web experience.

If you can really say you’re “focusing” on everything…

hmm… I’ll get back to you. In the meantime, check it out! Today I spent most of my time on the Fair Trade and About Beleza pages. I had some interesting learning experiences figuring out how to work internal anchor links as well. Had an entire page of text displaying as a link at one point… CSS still scares me.


That’s it for today… next week I’ll try to finish up going through all the webpages, and maybe even add a favicon!

*happy place*

Swing by the Beleza Fair Trade store sometime! Hope to see you there.


Think fair trade store, Fair TrAde StoRE, FAIR TRADE STORE!!!  *poof* You now find yourself in the mystical, wonderful world of Beleza. You can find a scarf to go with those smashing ruby pumps and strut down the yellow brick road like it was made of 14 karat gold. Well, perhaps someday… For now we’re trying to make Beleza synonymous with the phrase “fair trade store” in the minds of shoppers and in the computerized brains of search engines everywhere. It’s a BIG and ambitious move, we know, but I think we can do it!

Today, I honed down the schedule for eBay.  It’s going to take about a month to get it all rolling.  Pretty exciting work!  While eBay is going to drive more business online, we also want to get more people in the store.  Because – let’s face it – once you go in our fair trade store, you can’t leave without buying something.  We’re writing another proposal for Groupon.  If you’ve never heard of it, you should check out their website and maybe even sign up.  Groupon is a revolutionary way to attract customers by sending an offer to by a coupon.  The offer is only good for one day and Groupon writes fantastic business reviews to bring people on board.  Their business model is different from traditional advertisers; they don’t charge any up-front costs.

PDail is in Haiti right now, leading a relief trip.  We are still collecting shoes at Beleza to be sent with the Red Cross.



Today I finished putting “invisible” links the Beleza fair trade store website.  They’re called invisible links because no one can see or tell that the links are there, but Google will pick up on the links. We also gained a new intern, Tomer Shvueli. He’s studying computer science and seems like he’ll be a huge help to us. Today, he began creating new links to the fair trade store artists.

an exciting announcement

The proposal that Lindsay and I did was approved!  And now, for the big news:  Beleza is going on eBay!  Over the next few weeks, we’ll be taking pictures, writing product descriptions and setting up shop on eBay.  We won’t just list items, but will make a dedicaded storefront within the eBay community.  This will help with branding and will allow users to view all of our products at once.  So, if someone searches for agate necklace, they may just find our little fair trade store and all of the wonderful things we have to offer.  Lindsey learned some new skills about cost-benefit analysis and how to write a business report.  This kind of skill development is why our internship is so useful – we get to create!  If you manage a store on eBay, I would love to learn from your experiences.  We will all keep you posted as progress begins…

eBay logo

The Proposal

It’s not a recent romantic comedy starring Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock, the title of this post is all about the completion of our proposal to create a new online shop for Beleza. For the past couple of days we’ve scoured the internet looking for the best venue to promote online sales for our beloved fair trade store. Finally, after banging our heads on the keyboard and emphatically shaking our fists at the computer monitor we have made a decision! I can’t ruin the surprise for you yet, so stay tuned for the announcement of the location of Beleza‘s revamped online marketplace.

After a hiatus for break, the interns are back on track.  We have restructured a little bit to make our work more efficient.  We all meet at the same time now instead of having separate meeting times.  As PDail gets ready to co-lead a relief trip to Haiti, the interns have a big surprise for everyone.  I can’t tell you what it is yet, but be looking out for some exciting new things.  We’ve come up with some excellent goals to improve the amount of online traffic we receive.  Selling our handmade crafts and jewelry can be difficult online, but we have some cool solutions in the works.

In other news, I will be investigating how fair trade and microcredit loans are interrelated in my senior research for International Studies.  I am excited to be able to apply things I have learned in my degrees towards my work with Beleza.  The Caldwell Fellows and I just invested in a microcredit loan to help a farmer in Ecuador buy more farming equipment.  He is producing oranges, cassava, corn and cacao.  We used as the broker for the loan.

Josè Narciso Quinatoa Arias

Meet Josè Narciso Quinatoa Arias, the borrower.