Feature Blog Feature Blog

Impact / 08 Jun 2018

The Story of WOO

Saskia de Knegt

How it All Began

The story of WOO started decades before its conception in an accumulation of experiences and events in my life.  Through my early adult years in the medical sector and later, in my humanitarian work with the United Nations, I witnessed poverty and suffering first hand.

With charities and NGOs working hard to help ease and eradicate these conditions, I couldn’t help but wonder, why does poverty persist? Engaged in passionate discussions with veterans in the development sector and employed to work with the affected population, I soon realized that the only sustainable solution is to empower people to help themselves, rather than relying on charity and handouts.

All that was needed was a vehicle to enable this empowerment: a luxury boutique brand where the less fortunate utilize their skills to create beautiful, sustainable, desirable goods. By partnering with vulnerable suppliers and makers, they were no longer a target group or a problem group, but a group with opportunities. And thus, Worlds of Opportunities was born.

The Early Stages of WOO

There were those that believed WOO could change the world,
and others that said it couldn’t be done…

In order for WOO to grow, I made use of the knowledge I gained in the medical, business, creative and humanitarian sectors, and mobilized a team of like-minded and willful changemakers to help manage the many challenges of creating a global love brand: overseeing the entire supply chain, seducing consumers, recruiting volunteers, preparing legal documents, securing funds and jumping over the many hurdles that seemed to find their way on WOO’s path.

The WOO team is firm in its belief of hard work, passion, drive, and the belief that something sustainable had to be done to combat poverty. Today, Worlds of Opportunities is a brilliant illustration of everything that WOO lovers cherish –  authenticity, empowerment, inclusiveness and global citizenship.

WOO Today

After successful trade shows in Germany and the Netherlands in the summer of 2017, WOO has stepped up production at its Ho Chi Minh City workshop. In August 2017 there was, for the first time, a full container load of luxury products headed for the retail stores in Holland and Germany.

WOO Concept Store in Amsterdam, PC: Tim Buiting

In 2018, WOO expanded to the American market and is hoping to hugely increase its product range. Research is currently underway to find new soul-nourishing goods that can engage and empower many more vulnerable communities.

The Future of WOO

The story of WOO started with me and has now grown into a movement of like-minded global citizens… Join us!