What is FunkyFrog all about?
Funky Frog is definitely a mix of business and pleasure!
FunkyFrog imports beads from Africa. You could say this is the business side of FunkyFrog. Hey, it is hard work … traveling halfway round the world, then riding in tro tros to the markets in the heat and dust! Bargaining with some of the best Traders around… trying to juggle what is fair for you and for the trader! Then finally lugging all the beads home .. not to mention photographing, cataloguing and finally getting them up on the website for you to view.
Lots of hard work! But this would be only telling half the story. Beads are my passion and i get to visit African markets which are my favourite places in the world. So even though importing beads is business there is a lot of pleasure involved as well!
Funk Frog also has a creative side. You could say here in the Atelier where Funky Frog’s striking necklaces are made, is the pleasurable side of FunkyFrog. After all, I create the jewelry by combining gorgeous beads together in creative ways. Beads which are colourful, earthy and texturally pleasing. A real joy to work with. The Workshop itself is a treasure trove of amazing drawers and cabinets full of beads and findings…. It is like i get to play everyday! But again this would be only telling half the story because as everyone knows the creative act can be a lot of work, hard work. Each bead is chosen and put together carefully and often it can be a matter of undoing hours of work, only to try again. So the creative side of funkyFrog is a lot of fun but it has its serious side as well!
There is another side of FunkyFrog and that is the people side. There is a saying I love, ‘Think outside the box!’ Going to Ghana, West Africa had me leaping out of the box! And outside the box I have met so many wonderful people who are working quietly and selflessly to make a difference. Baba Baskets have become FunkyFrog’s go to place for the gorgeous Bogatanga Baskets. And it is because of Gregory MacCarthy – such an extraordinary man. He is a Canadian now living in Bolgatanga. He is very blunt about his views. He says “Saving the poor Africans” is not a narrative that we employ. Charity often carries the subtle message: “you are not capable of doing it yourselves.” The people with whom we work are very capable.” And he brings out the very best in the people he works with. There is no sense of us and them’ with Gregory. He is very definitely at home in his community. And the product, the Baba Tree produces speaks volumes as to the amazing ability of this community!
Brigitte works tirelessly through the Pure Art Foundation, a registered Canadian charity, to empower a marginalized community in Pucallpa, Peru through various programs.To do this she must Think outside of the box! Pure Art operates a Non-Profit Boutique selling work from artisans from across the globe. The boutique has a beautiful new home in Vaudreil-Dorion at 132 chemin de l’Anse where you can shop for beautiful Fairtrade items like Baba Tree’s baskets.
Silvia of Boutique Sisi under the Pink Awning on Victoria in Westmount also Thinks outside of the Box. The Boutique sells beautiful women’s clothes but for while she also found room for Baba Tree’s Baskets because she fell in love with the gorgeous works of art and ‘gets it’! She has sold so many baskets!!! She also always makes room for Funky Frog’s jewels’ – In fact one necklace is called ‘Silvia’s necklace’ because she has inspired so many to buy this funky piece!!
My friend, Dela has been my friend and extraordinary guide from the very beginning of FunkyFrog. His patience and goodness has brought us through many difficult moments. I can just say without Dela there would be no FunkyFrog.