Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fair Trade Black Friday Promotions


Felted Wool Snow Leopard Ornament Kyrgyzstan

We're running some great internet promotions for Black Friday and beyond! The following specials will be in effect from Black Friday (November 29th) through Fair Trade Tuesday (December 3rd). They only apply to tangozuluimports.com, not our brick and mortar store.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Tango Zulu Two (Too?)

We are open! Our pop-up sweatshop-free clothing store is right next to our main store in Port Gamble. We'll be open through the end of the year, with fair trade and made in the U.S.A. brands.






Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tango Zulu Two?

Tango Zulu is expanding! We are opening a pop-up store in the building right next door to our current location from November 1st through the end of the year. The new, temporary space will give us the room we have been craving to showcase our fair trade, handmade clothing like the Global Mamas batik dress pictured here. The current space at 32239 Rainier Avenue NE, Port Gamble, WA will continue to focus on our specialty, African baskets, with plenty of other artisan housewares to keep you busy shopping. We only have a lease on the new space through December 31st, but if all goes well, perhaps a clothing boutique is on our future.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Gordon Elementary Holiday Bazaar

We're pleased as punch to have a booth at the Gordon Elementary Holiday Bazaar on November 23rd! This is a great way to support local businesses and the Gordon PTA. There is already an impressive lineup of vendors, and you can check out their Facebook event to see some of the products that will be available. We'll bring a good array of African baskets, felted soap, and fair trade Christmas ornaments. It will be such a relief to do an event only ten minutes from home, with no tent to set up and easy-peasy parking. Offsite events....that's a whole different blog post.

Happy fall, all!


African Zulu Telephone Wire Basket 13

Monday, September 23, 2013

Empowering Women Exhibit at Burke Museum

We are proud to be a community partner with Seattle's Burke Museum in their Empowering Women exhibit, which examines the effects of the marketplace on the lives of women in developing countries. Burke has an impressive line up of speakers this fall to accompany the event, beginning with Macro on Micro this Wednesday, September 25th, at 7pm. The exhibit itself runs through October 27th. Photo courtesy of Burke Museum.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Taste of Lynwood on Bainbridge Island



We will have a booth Saturday, September 14th at Taste of Lynwood on Bainbridge Island. The event, which features lots of tasty food, musical acts, and local vendors will run from 11am to 8pm (vendors will open for business from 11am to 6pm.) Oh, and there is a beer garden as well! This event has a real block party feel and is family friendly.

We'll have lots of fair trade baskets like the one pictured, felted soap, Palestinian olive oil, and more. Sarah and Kristi Anna will be holding down the fort at our Port Gamble store. We hope to see lots of happy faces at both locations.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tango Zulu on the Move!

by Tracy Zhu

Late last year I realized we couldn't go through another busy holiday season in our current space. Our store's kitchen, which does triple duty as our stock room, break room, and shipping and receiving station, was so crowded that it was a constant struggle to make sure it wasn't a fire hazard. In December we were often building boxes on the retail floor because it was the only place in the building with adequate space. My office had long since been taken over by African baskets. Clearly we needed more space and a better layout.
Oh, no, not the UPS guy again! Where are we going to put this stuff?


Early this year I began looking for commercial space for lease around North Kitsap and even in Seattle. I soon realized that I wanted to stay put in Port Gamble. The town is as sweet and appealing as can be, and we have a tight-knit business community and supportive landlords. Rent is relatively inexpensive, and in the nearly three years I've been here I've seen the town get steadily busier. I've also worked hard to get established here, and it would take a very compelling set of circumstances to compel me to start over elsewhere (I am open to expanding to a second store eventually.)
The Morrill Pope House, our new home as of March 25th.

Fortunately, in February I got word that a building just two doors down from our current location would be available in April. The Morrill Pope House is about 30% larger than our current space, and also a large, sunny deck and a dry, secure shed. Its layout is better for both retail space and for back-end operations. We're moving later this month and hope to be fully relocated as of March 25th.

We plan to keep our doors open for business throughout the moving process, which will be a huge challenge. We'll move the operations rooms first, and then the retail spaces will be done after hours.

Looking a bit further ahead, our three year anniversary is May 8th, and World Fair Trade Day is May 11th. We'll celebrate those along with our grand opening at the new place the weekend of May 11th-12th. More information to come later. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying the final days of our time in the New York House.

Monday, February 18, 2013

2012 Recap



Zulu Telephone Wire Basket
Hello everyone and Happy belated new year! On behalf of Tracy, Drew, Sarah, Kristi Anna and myself (Patricia), I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of you, our customers and dedicated supporters! So many exciting things happened in 2012 for the TZI team! Some of the highlights are listed below. I can hardly wait to see what is to come in 2013.  
  1. Winter 2012 edition of Quilty magazine: Our African baskets were featured in the Loot section of their “Quilty-approved” goodies for the holiday season.)
  2. Taste of Beirut is a fantastic site for fans of Middle Eastern food, with beautiful images, lovely writing, and lots of cultural context.  Tango Zulu Imports was introduced to them about a year ago when the author mentioned us in a post about maftoul, which brought us a lot of wonderful orders as a result.
  3. Staff went from zero to three (Sarah, Kristi Anna and myself).
  4. The owners' first buying trip to South Africa, Lesotho, and Dubai took place the end of October/beginning of November
  5.  First year for participation in fairs and festivals. Quite a learning curve!
  6. The Kitsap Sun featured TZI in its Employer spotlight in April 2012 to help Tracy in her search for her first employees
  7. Ebony.com included Tango Zulu Imports, featuring our Bolga baskets in an article about baskets of Africa.
  8. Seattle’s Burke Museum has an exhibit currently going on through May 27, 2013 called Plastics Unwrapped of which Tango Zulu Imports is playing a small part. Zulu telephone wire baskets will be part of the exhibit and we were asked to produce a flyer about the baskets, the artisans who craft them, and where to find them locally. It's part of an information packet that will be given to each visitor to the exhibit over the months ahead. We're excited and pleased to be a part of the exhibit in our small way
  9. Just over 54% sales growth in the brick and mortar store, and 94% growth online from 2011. Wow!
We are so grateful to our artisans, customers, fellow business owners here in Port Gamble, and everyone else who played a part in our growth last year.  Thank you!