Zenzele Consignment Update

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Uhuru! On behalf of the All African People’s Development & Empowerment Project (AAPDEP) and the Zenzele Consignment Team, I want to thank everyone who has been on this journey with us toward our opening. Since we announced our intentions to open Zenzele Consignment as an economic institution and fundraiser for the programs of AAPDEP, we have worked hard building our team, raising resources and developing the plans necessary to make our store a reality…and a success! In December, we launched a dynamic Go-Fund-Me campaign which raised almost $10,000! The goal at that time was to open Zenzele Consignment by March 26 at a location that had been identified and that we hoped to secure with the resources that had been raised. In January, I traveled to Philadelphia to participate in a week long training at Uhuru Furniture & Collectibles (UFC) which was organized by UFC management and the Office of the Deputy Chair of the APSP. The training, which covered everything from sales and marketing to building a volunteer base for the store, was both intense and extremely thorough and helped to prepare me for my role as Manager of Zenzele Consignment. Coming out of that training, the Zenzele Team and I had to make the tough decision to push back the opening of Zenzele Consignment yet again (our original opening date was scheduled for fall 2015). This decision was made based on complications with the space we had hoped to secure and other serious challenges we faced, related primarily to store staffing. Once the decision was made to push back our opening from the March  2016 date, our team began moving quickly to identify a new location for the store and to carry out other important aspects of our plan, including inventory accumulation, staffing and marketing and promotions. Our Huntsville Zenzele Consignment Street Team is currently working daily to carry out our new campaign, #HuntsvilleStreetStyle, which highlights locals whose style reflects that of Zenzele Consignment and which is helping to raise the profile and awareness of our store and our mission. We have found a new (and in some ways better) location for the store, and are in negotiations now to secure it. We are working to identify donors and consignors and are consolidating great inventory. We  are also making plans to participate in the upcoming National Association of Resale Professionals national conference in Atlanta, Georgia. We have had many challenges along the way, and because you’ve been with us, you’ve seen it. But hopefully, what you’ve also seen is the determination of our team. As we encounter obstacles, we regroup and overcome them. Because of that, every day we are one step closer to our opening. Now here’s what we are sure you want to know: we are working to have our location secured by mid April and are now projecting and preparing for a summer 2016 opening. Our team and I have learned (if we didn’t know it already ) that opening a business is certainly  not easy. We’ve also learned that we need to have to have the location secured and lease signed before we give a hard date for our opening! 🙂 So, as soon as we have that lease signed, you’ll be the first  (ok maybe not the first) to know! We’ll be sure to give you enough time to make plans to come join us in Huntsville for the grand opening of Zenzele Consignment…the store we have all been working and waiting for! Build Zenzele Consignment!! Dr. Aisha Fields AAPDEP International Director