Merchandise Specialists

The team of merchandise specialists who have been a part of the Impact team in various countries and assignments are dedicated professionals and businesses to the advancement of women in both developing and developed countries. They have proven to be the “best of the best”.

Anu Basu-Agarwal
Founder and Creator of Shastra Home, Living Dreams Foundation, and Truly Amazing Earth, Anu has been involved in designing products for the Shastra line as well as working on private label programs for key accounts. In doing so she has experience in trend analysis, market research and forecasting as well as conceptualizing new product groups. She coordinates the product development process with factories overseas and monitors their progress at every stage. Anu was the Founder and Creative Director of the SAS Group. SAS included SAS Living Corp the parent company, and one of the largest distributors in the USA (dealing in furniture and decorative accessories), Shastra (the soft goods division specializing in textile products and coordinated accessories for the home) and Soleil (Accent Lamps). As co owner of the group she was involved in strategic planning for the company in all aspects of operations and marketing. She was also the primary merchandiser for all the showrooms in the USA, which includes Atlanta, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Chicago, Los Angeles, Highpoint, Miami, Seattle and New York. SAS Group supplied many of the leading retail outlets in the USA, including Pier One, Crate and Barrel, Sundance, Nieman Marcus, Sears, to name a few. In keeping with her mission to help women in developing countries, she launched Living Dreams Foundation and Truly Amazing Earth.
[Anu was part of the Impact Team working in Afghanistan, Uganda, Swaziland, Madagascar, Bangladesh, NE India, Bhutan]

Jennifer MacMillan
Jennifer was the Former Director of retail for Beautiful British Columbia Gift Catalogue and Gift Stores of Canada. Jennifer has over 30 years of direct experience in the retail industry, including direct Marketing Manager for Canadian Living, product selection and buying for Ripley’s Aquarium in South Carolina, past director on the board for Toronto Direct Marketing Association and past Chairperson for Craft House in B.C.
[Jennifer was part of the Impact Team working on the Uniquely Canada Programs, Uniquely Slovenia, and Afghanistan]

Emma Quinn
Emma’s roles have included: Merchandise and Marketing Coordinator for Ontario Craft Council, Manager of the Guild Shop in Toronto, and graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design. She developed and ran the Ontario Craft Council’s “Marketing Your Craft” program. She is currently the Executive Director for the Ontario Crafts Council.
[Emma was part of the Impact Team working on the Uniquely Canada Programs, Uniquely Slovenia, and Afghanistan]

Fae Beck
Fae has been associated with Sundance Resort, and the Sundance Catalog through her work with her husband Brent. Fae has attended numerous markets all over the world, along with Brent, in search of new and exciting products. As a past Director of Tourism for Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau, she was responsible for the expansion of the on-site retail store at the Bureau and was the merchandise buyer for the store.
[Fae was part of the Impact Team working on Uniquely Slovenia and Afghanistan]

Willa Shallit
Founder and CEO, Fair Winds Trading Inc.
Willa founded the company to import baskets from Rwandan widows, and now sells the baskets worldwide through, as part of the Path to Peace Project. Her company Fair Winds Trading uses “Trade, Not Aid” to create opportunities by linking artisan producers with the global marketplace. The artisans they work with not only earn income, but also take an active role in shaping their future and building their lives. Her strategic partners include: Macy*s Department Stores, O The Oprah Magazine, UNIFEM, UNAIDS, Association Impore, and Women for Women International.
[Willa was part of the team working in Tanzania and Zanzibar]

Diane White
E.Diane White has 25 years experience in the field of economic development. She has an MBA from Harvard University and Masters in International Studies from John Hopkins. Currently, she is Chief Strategist for the Buyer Linkages Program at the US African Development Foundation (USADF), a U.S. Government Agency that provides investment and working capital, training and technical assistance to African businesses in 16 African countries. Under Buyer Linkages, Diane works with African suppliers/exporters to help them find markets in the U.S. and successfully execute orders. Two African entrepreneurs in the program recently executed (shipped on time, complete and meeting all compliance requirements) a basket order to Target, the second largest retailer in the U.S. Prior to working for USADF, Ms. White was founder and CEO of Blackberry, a small chain of Afrocentric lifestyle stores and winner of the National Retail Federation “Store of the Year”. Ms. White worked for 12 years at the World Bank in East and Southern Africa as a private sector development specialist with a focus on export development and all aspects of the production to market chain. Ms. White also taught entrepreneurship at Trinity College in Washington, DC. And she has served on a number of board including the National Retail Federation and IBBMEC, an Afrocentric industry trade association.
[Diane was part of the team working in Tanzania and Zanzibar]

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