Day 55

At the end of the day yesterday, we were talking with Sra. Isabel (who is one of the most important artisans for the foundation), and she mentioned that she’d also like a video done (she must have been impressed with the video that Sarah showed of Don Jose earlier in the week). Originally, we did not plan to do a video for Sra. Isabel because she already has a couple videos done of her from other volunteers in the past, but Sra. Isabel gets what Sra. Isabel wants. 🙂

She happened to be available this morning, so we scheduled it for today and tried to knock it out quickly. I was excited that we got to visit her because she is so knowledgeable and able to make any of the products – so she’d be very helpful in building out my excel file on how long it takes artisans to create specific products.

SIDE NOTE / UPDATE: Another reason this was scheduled for tomorrow is because Juan Manuel actually received a job offer from Unilever and starts on Friday. Long story short, but he will only be able to provide us with assistance after 4 p.m. local time going forward – so this is going to create some complications, but we’ll figure it out. We’re pumped for Juan Manuel because it’s a good job opportunities and comes with some good benefits, and therefore, we only teased him a little bit about abandoning us.

Señora Isabel at work.

Sra Isabel lives about 15 minutes away, so still in downtown Temuco, which is a nice change of pace from the over hour long drives we normally have to get to an artisan’s home. When we arrived, we went upstairs to where she works and it was a pretty cool loft with a lot of natural light and there was so much spun wool. I could see the excitement on Sarah’s face because I think she wishes she had a room like this. But the place was filled with wool – I felt like we were at Hobby Lobby. She was working on some intricate lamas and did the video interview with Sarah, did some weaving for Sarah’s b-roll, and answered some questions about her processes. It was so easy for her to multi-task and she was making great progress while we were there. She works about 15 hours a day, 7 days a week, but that’s her passion. She is probably the most technically precise of the artisans and you could really tell in her work – it was phenomenal.

After that was done in the morning, I dropped Sarah back off at the apartment so she could continue working on videos without any distractions. I went to the museum store to meet Susana and Viviana because we had a demo scheduled with Lightspeed POS software. I did a demo last week and thought that it was good and would more than meet the organization’s needs. Therefore, they arranged for a demo to be completed in Spanish and to see what Susana and Viviana thought. The software license costs $75 USD a month, which probably doesn’t seem like much to many, but is a significant investment for the foundation.

Susana and Viviana viewing the demo in the museum store.

First and foremost, the internet worked well enough for the demo to actually be complete – so that’s a positive. Otherwise, I think it went fairly well (again, it was in Spanish, and I was sitting behind Susana/Viviana, so couldn’t read their faces). Viviana said afterwards that she really liked it, and Susana seemed pleased as well. They did mention there may be some complications with Chilean taxes, but they asked the software rep to collect some more information for them. So he should be following up on that. Ultimately, I consider this a success, because I just really wanted to get a demo in front of them to better learn what they like and dislike. This way, I could do a little more research and possibly find a better solution to fit their needs in case they pass on this one. It wasn’t like I was able to do a “requirements gathering” process with them. Instead, I have a decent understanding of their processes and therefore, I’m just taking a stab at getting some vendors in here. Baby steps.

I said goodbye to Susana and Viviana because we won’t seem them for a week. You see, Sarah and I will be working remote starting tomorrow and the entire next week, as we’re very pumped for some visitors! Sarah’s parents (Jeff & Connie), sister (Stephanie), and sister’s boyfriend (Chester) arrive tomorrow and we have some fun activities planned in the coming week, specifically, heading to Valdivia, Puerto Varas, Pucón, Temuco, Santiago, and Valparaiso.

We’re pumped for them to join us and have a little taste of the United States, but also know that we have plenty of work to continue to get done while they are here. Sarah will be continuing to work on the videos as well as prepare some materials for the upcoming International Women’s Day event on March 8th. She needs to create some banners and other materials, but also get more videos prepared because they want to show a lot of them during the event. On my end, since the Brazilians last day was yesterday, I’m not a manager with people to manage – aka, I need to get back to work haha. Over the next week, I need to analyze a lot of the sales figures that one of the Brazilians summarized for me, and cross-reference it against the productivity file. I need to review all the in-store customer surveys and determine what are the key takeaways and corresponding actions. I need to review another Brazilians research on International Fairs and corporations that provide grants and add my thoughts. Also, as a result of today’s demo, Susana and Viviana are going to email a summary of their reactions and then I can work with the company from there to determine next steps or do additional research on other vendors.

Excited for a little change of scenery the next couple days with visitors, but gotta keep the eyes on the prize and still make some progress this week.

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