My name is Carole McCall and I am Managing Director of Diva-Stores.
The reason for starting your company?
The reason I started Diva-Stores was twofold. I was raised by an amazing mother who was really into all things ethical from the 1960s.I was raised to recycle, wash and squash tins before they went in the bin, turn off lights ,give a portion of our pocket money to needy children in the third world and always buy fair trade. I am a psychotherapist and coach and travelled a lot with my job I began to think more about fair trade about 8 years ago when I realised so much cheap stuff was available all around the world and wondered what the producers were being paid.
I became much more interested in organic produce and the chemicals that were being used particularly in children’s things when my grandchildren started arriving 7 years ago. I run an empowerment course for women called www.diva-days.com . I met lots of women with small children who had no time to shop ethically even though they wanted to and lots of older women who had lots of time and needed a new direction. It was on a long flight to the States about 3 years that I thought up the idea for www.diva-stores.com. It would be an ethical shopping site with lots of courses, holidays and ideas for women’s interest. Not long after that I had a spell of ill health and was pretty much stuck at my house in Spain for 3 months . That was then I really set to making Diva-Stores a reality.
How long have you been in business?
We have been trading as Diva-Stores for the last couple of years from Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.
Tell us about your products.
We sell all thing ethical, fair-trade, organic and try hard to support small business. We have 10,000 products over 24 sections and lots of links to ethical companies. The links all give our diva-stores members a 10% discount. Our most popular sections are fashion, beauty, kids and babies, wedding list, homes and gardens and health. I have personally researched every company that is on our site. (Lots of this has been a labour of love). We also support lots of small one man bands and give them room on a shopping site. As far as I know there is nothing quite like us and now Diva-Stores takes up about 80% of my time. I just love it.
What is your favourite green luxury item?
My favourite green luxury item is Love Soak Bath Therapy by Savonnerie.16.95 for a kilner jar .It just calms and relaxes me even if I have had a really busy day. And the jar is lovely in the bathroom. This is an ethical l company that makes fabulous bath products and it is available on www.diva-stores.com on our beauty department.
What is your top green tip?
My top green tip is to leave the car at home and walk. I lived in the Lake District for many years and got used to walking in the rain. Walking is so good on many levels you meet your neighbours, you talk to your kids, you feel better, you get exercise and keep fit and you do not use so much fuel.
What do you do to relax?
My main relaxation revolves around being with the little ones in the family. I feel most relaxed walking in Wisley Gardens in Surrey. Try out the new glass house it is wonderful.
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