Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!!

It has been a momentous year for Dreamaid. Numerous press releases and appearances, articles in magazines, TV appearance on the BBC, but the best thing has been the growing community of like minded people.

For me the highlight of the year has been the launch of the Friends For Steet Children in Vietnam project. The original objective of Dreamaid was to help people and Dreamaid is for me a philanthropic and socio-economic business with an innovative model. To see that we are genuinely helping people already is a great boost in a difficult eonomic environment.

Two weeks ago we had our first Craft stall in Aberdeen at a school fair where we sold only the products made by the FFSC orphans. I believe we made £162 selling for these young people and in doing so were able to do some face to face promotion of the site. Given we only had one days notice to arrange this event I was delighted :)

I realise I am remiss at blogging, facebook and all the social media but it doesn't do my tennis elbow any good and I find it difficult to keep up with the volume of interchange. Please don't take my relative absence negatively but having tried everything bar surgery I try to minimise my time on the keyboard...

We have grown steadily which is the only sensible way in this arena and will continue to stick to our core ethical way forward. We are so grateful for your continued support and hope that together we can make a great success not only for our buyers and sellers but for those whose dreams are so humble and modest.

Have a wonderful festive season and may all your dreams come true in the coming year!

Best wishes,

Peter McAteer

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Sales Brochure Going Out Next Week!

After much work on the styling, testing we are finally ready to send out our brochure!

Apologies for the delay but this turned out to be much more demanding than we had envisaged with various technical issues to resolve.

We would request that Dreamers update their shops ready for a significant increase in visitors.

Due to holiday leave we are a bit behind on some new releases but I am advised they are progressing well and will be ready for announcement soon.

Best wishes,

Peter McAteer

Monday, 14 June 2010

Contributions to Sales Brochure

Dear all,

We have an announcement on the Forum regarding our plans to have a monthly sales brochure and would be grateful for contributions to help us make this novel, interesting and inclusive.

Our sellers are all creative thinkers and it would be great to have you all on board as part of a team of sales people :)

Your ideas and thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

The document will be emailed to targeted buyers with lots of pictures of wonderful handmade products and a demonstration of our caring shopping experience...

We look forward to hearing from you!

Best wishes,

Peter McAteer

Thursday, 27 May 2010

What a week that was!

This has been a very memorable week for Dreamaid. We were featured on the BBC documentary on the 18th of May which then went worldwide on BBC News on the following weekend to a potentially enormous audience. Pity we can’t get hold of figures to tell us just how large that international audience was but we do have the UK audience figures. I believe the UK viewing figures were somewhat disappointing but I am no expert in this field. We had been advised to expect up to 5 million viewers but in fact the actual viewing figures were less than 1 million. Apparently the series had received some negative press reviews in advance and presumably this affected viewing figures.

However, despite the low viewing figures we have received a fabulous response and have increased our number of products almost three-fold in the last couple of weeks and our sales have been increasing dramatically too. Due to the fact that we are seeking investors at the moment I have to be careful about how much information I give but suffice it to say that we are very pleased with progress.

We have been approached by people from as far and wide as Canada, Mexico, India, Thailand, UK, USA, Germany, Switzerland all wishing to help us to achieve our Vision. There have also been a number of parties expressing an interest in investing in Dreamaid which we are exploring.

I think the most rewarding part of this last week has been the number of new Dreamers expressing their support for what Dreamaid is doing. As the documentary demonstrated, starting a business of this nature in a global recession wasn’t easy but we are now coming out of that situation and the only way is up for all at Dreamaid.

When I first started as a Director in business in 1992 a fellow board member and senior Director of the company once told me ‘do the right things and the right results will come’. Dreamaid is doing the right thing and I am confident that with the support of our growing community the right things will happen. Not only for our buyers and sellers but also for those in need that we are supporting.

Thanking for your continued support,

Peter McAteer

Friday, 7 May 2010

BBC2 Programme Arrives at Last :)

The long awaited BBC2 documentary which features the first six weeks to five months of Dreamaid is due to be shown starting the 18th of May at 8pm UK time. It is called "Theo's Adventure Capitalists" and is made highly entertaining by the presentation style of the successful businessman and character Theo Paphitis.

The programme offers a great opportunity to our Dreamers to illustrate the wonderful products that they make to a huge audience. We are expecting around a million visitors to the site and as we are still very young we need to ensure we have enough quality products from around the world to sell. The programme is principally being shown in the UK but will be going global through BBC World.

The programme will follow a similar style to this one last week which was following three companies in Vietnam.

The documentary is business led and therefore may not cover the social project work we are undertaking in Brazil with photographers from the favela in Rio de Janeiro or with Talentos do Brasil to help around 2000 artisans.

We will also be followed by the Open University and used in educational programmes for business students.

It is also planned to use Dreamaid as an example of 'Sustainable Business' which is the whole point of the business and social strategy.

Exciting times even though I may have to hide behind the sofa on a few occasions!! However, I am delighted that Dreamaid is sufficiently interesting to have captured the imagination of so many influential people and now potentially will have a truly global audience :)

Early days in any business are a roller coaster so enjoy the programme and help us to keep this train on the tracks. This journey promises to be a wonderful one for so many people from so many wide and varied backgrounds. All sharing one Vision of a fairer world which recognises the value of handmade products, globally.

Have fun and thanks for sharing the dream.

Best wishes,

Peter McAteer

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Vietnamese Orphanage Support

I know I am not the world's best blogger, twitterer or social networker and should do a lot more of this. However, I prefer to post things that matter than to inundate you with trivia :) Please accept my apologies for feeble social networking but...

I mentioned that whilst in Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam, last year I came across a person working for an oil company that was helping an orphanage in his spare time. We talked about whether or not we could work together to the betterment of the kids of lives but in a way that would not promote abuse of children or slave labour. It is clearly a difficult balance to strike in a desperately poor environment. Unfortunately children do go to work earlier than they do in the west. This has bothered me ever since until I was recently contacted by the people that run the orphanage.

We will shortly announcing the DreamAid shop opening of FFSC (Friends For Street Children) where the DreamAid Charity will assist the orphanage to sell their products on the DreamAid website. We will handle the sales on their behalf and send the proceeds to them directly.

FFSC helps about 1000 children that have no homes and are forced on to the streets to try to scrape a living. This leaves them open to all kinds of abuse and sickness. FFSC is supported by donors and the Dominican sisters who administer health care and education programmes. Amongst these education programmes are handcrafts lessons where the older children are taught skills to help them earn a living.

It is a lovely thought that we can reach out to them and encourage their development by purchasing their work and letting them realise that they are not alone. We will announce their products soon and hope you will help us to help them shortly.

Hoping little dreams become big ones and that they come true,

Peter McAteer

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Happy New Year!!

Well it's hard to believe that 2010 is here as 2009 flew past so quickly.

Apologies for being a little quiet lately but this last month or so has been really hectic for us as we prepare for the next phase of growth of Dreamaid.

In May we will celebrate our first anniversary and perhaps time to review how we have been doing. A few highlights are:

  • Soft launch was successful - few bugs ironed out but no real issues found
  • Branding growing well - everyone we deal with loves the Dreamaid concept
  • Visitors from 125 countries in six months - wrong period in video below :)
  • Dreamers from 47 countries
  • Products from 23 countries

We recognised early confusion as to whether we were a charity or a business or both. As a result we split the Dreamaid Charity website from the Dreamaid business website to avoid any concerns the duality may cause. However, the business does strongly sponsor the charity and the charity gains from free promotion due to the business. This is critical to our socio-economic aspirations of bringing the developing world forward whilst building a reputable and successful business. We need to be strong to help people.

We built Craft Advice in order to deal with what we believe will be an increasing demand for learning amongst our Dreamers. This is a first of its kind in this domain and one we are excited about growing in the coming year.

Another unique feature was launched with our multi-currency capability which means you can list in Euros, Dollars or Sterling. We intend to widen the scope of this capability in response to market conditions and demand.

Our multi-lingual capacity has been demonstrated in English, Portuguese and Spanish so far and we intend to widen this during 2010.

We introduced a capability to search by price and are working hard to enhance this search capability to other areas to make buying simpler.

We received an amazing reception from both the business and media community and are about to be shown on a major UK TV channel. This is both exciting and daunting as we are still very new and growing. However, it does demonstrate that we are doing something very interesting and novel. We hope to build on this relationship with the media by having great stories to tell of our drive to help people whilst making a sustainable business for them and for us.

We have commenced working with several NGO's (Non Government Organisations - Charities typically) to help them. These are wonderful people that truly appreciate our efforts and we are delighted to be able to offer some level of support, albeit modest at the moment. However, we know this will grow quickly.

We are now very busy putting together plans to attract investment so we can really take Dreamaid to where it belongs - the world.

For those of you that have been with us during this inaugural year thank you for believing in us. It is not an easy trail we have set out upon and it will have its challenges but rest assured we truly value your joining us and supporting our cause.

We hope that this year brings you great happiness, good health and that your Dreams come true.

Best wishes,

Peter McAteer