My name is Ilana, and I am an ordinary person. I’m also the founder of Ordinary People.
I wanted to take the time to elaborate on my story. I want to give you insight as to the small steps, subtle nudges and minor developments that was along the path to creating Ordinary People. I hope to inspire you in some way that all it really takes to make a difference in the world (even if it's only in SOMEONE'S world) is to say yes, take a small step and then do something.
So grab a cup of coffee, sit back and read on!
My story is like so many. I’ve seen the need around me, everywhere, for years now. I’ve given to organisations doing great work from time to time but struggled to understand what good my tiny part could do in the big scheme of the suffering going on around the globe.
I’m a graphic designer, and my work allows me to connect with passionate dreamers and doers. It was while talking with one of these amazing people working in the arena of social justice that I was challenged by the quote from Edward Everett Hale,
I am only one
But still, I am one
I cannot do everything
But still, I can do something
- Edward Everett Hale
It made me uncomfortable. It made me question my preconceived notions around what I as an ordinary person could do. What if I wasn't the only one that never did anything because of the thought that it wouldn't make a difference, it's too small an act? It made me think about all the other ordinary people I know who feel the same way; who want to help but feel helpless.
I tried to push my growing feelings of helplessness and frustration aside, but instead of subsiding, an idea began to form. What if I could use my skills in and love for design to make a difference and help others to do the same? What if I could make it easier for ordinary people like me to do something to help others in need?
Then Aleppo happened in December 2016. I watched in real time as people like me found themselves living in a war zone, helpless and at the mercy of those bent on domination and destruction. It was during this time that I stumbled across the work of Preemptive Love Coalition and fell in love with this group of people. It was then that I began following their work. Shortly afterwards, I got my hands on the book ‘Chapter One’ by Daniel Flynn of Thankyou. The story behind this remarkable startup was fuel to my slow-burning fire. It gave me an example of other ordinary people that ended up creating something extraordinary!
What I realised is that unless I was willing to risk failing, I would never step up and step out. So, over the next year, I started a conversation with others about what we/I could do to be part of the solution. The secret I have discovered is that if I want to make a real and lasting difference, is to just take the first step, then the next, then continue on and bring others along with you. It’s about doing something and working with others to make it happen. Partnering with family, friends, co-workers, like-minded people and suppliers is the way to go. No one person has all the answers, it’s when we put our heads together that things happen!
That brings us to now. The conversations, research, soul-searching, cups of coffee, tears, more coffee, frustrations, fears, excitement….is ongoing...but has led to this moment.
Our Kickstarter has now launched and we are SO CLOSE to getting this label off the ground. If you were like me and you're currently thinking "As much as I want to do something, I can't partner with them because I don't have loads of money to invest in this idea, I want to encourage you, what YOU have is enough! Even if it's only $10 you contribute, even if it's only $1, you're still included in actually taking the step and doing something! Never discount the small acts as being 'nothing'. Every little bit is still 'something'!
So join us as we see Ordinary People realised into a clothing label that gives back to communities!