- About Us
This idea of purpose, and specifically the use of that word, is fairly new. I didn't realise that I was lacking it, or that I was trying to find it. I just knew that something was off.
This story starts in late 1999 when I began studying for a Master's Degree in the UK. I was determined to go overseas to help the world and chose Water Management as my specialist subject. I was ambitious and eager to help communities obtain and manage water in an effective and sustainable way. During the course, I met people from those far away parts of the world who were studying the same material with the aim of heading back to their own communities and sharing that knowledge. At the same time, the idea of the white, western 'expert' giving instruction and then disappearing again, was rapidly heading out of fashion.
Feeling somewhat conflicted, perhaps lacking the maturity and clarity to see where I could fit into this changing landscape, I finished my degree and headed down a more conventional engineering/corporate route. I've been successful in it and enjoyed it. However, I've been left with an itch that needed scratching and it's taken until now to figure how to do so.
Fast forward almost two decades, and I was watching one of my good friends Alicia Gear (our first artist on figgle) emerge as an artist. I loved her work and was impressed that very quickly she was displaying her work in exhibitions and selling a few pieces.
However, I saw two problems: Firstly, she could only sell her work once. Secondly, the time it took to create and paint versus the dollar value she could command did not stack up. The more I looked at other artists while building figgle, the more I thought about how I could help them.
The final piece of the puzzle was an introduction to an organisation called B1G1 (Buy1Give1). This was the string that tied everything together and gave me the impetus to make this figgle thing a reality. For many people in the developed world going about their day-to-day lives, it is unfathomable that there are millions of people that can't easily access clean, safe water, or flick a switch and get a reliable supply of power. When faced with the luxury and ease of western life, it's hard to reconcile that so many people still live lives a long way from what we think of as normal.
B1G1 showed me that we as individuals don't need to solve this. Other people have done the hard work and figured it out. They know how to supply clean drinking water, they know how to reliable energy to remote communities, they know how to address gender equality...... they just need money. B1G1 is a gateway to projects all over the world and by providing funds, we create 'impacts' that positively affect people and communities. The organisations that B1G1 support are thoroughly vetted and aligned with the UNs Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These SDGs are a "blueprint for a better and more sustainable future" and every single impact helps turn this vision into reality.
In an interesting twist of fate, I had become that white western expert travelling the world giving advice and instruction, but at the end of June 2020, during the height of COVID, I resigned to deep dive into figgle, to make it a reality and find my purpose. It took a while to pull everything together and attract suppliers and artists that have similar values to ours. My hope now, is that through this website, we can:
- Create profound impacts on the lives of less fortunate people, simply by going about our business and by you simply purchasing a piece of artwork you like
- Provide support to creatives so they can earn a living from their work. We provide them with an opportunity to 'sell' a single piece of art multiple times, giving them a long-term income stream from each piece they create
- Minimise the carbon footprint of each sale and support local businesses by sticking to our 'Buy:Make:Ship Local' commitment.
- Provide you, our customer, with beautiful artwork that you can admire, enjoy and show-off, while knowing that your purchase has created some good in the world
Now this business exists and we're up and running, I'm proud of it. I couldn't have done it without the support of friends and family and I'll always be grateful for their faith in me. We have beautiful artwork for sale that supports local artists, feeds money into local communities by using local suppliers and manufacturers, while every day, making an impact on the lives of people we'd never normally get a chance to. This is my purpose and I'm so grateful you stopped by and helped.