FROM HUMBLE BEGINNINGS
I am proud that what initially started as a one-man-band in my garage has grown to sustain the livelihood of several previously disadvantaged individuals.
Over the years we have worked to uplift the African people and provide them with a better quality of life. We have seen families through sickness and personal trauma and tragedy-through fires that ravaged their shacks and took all of their possessions. We have personally provided shelter and clothing.
This project is totally supported by the sales of our beautiful products. No outside, private or government funding has been or is being used on this project. Our mission has been to help the African tribes people have a better life.
The beautiful Bugz Products are proudly Made in the USA for the Made In America Retail Marketplace by Founder Paul Hunter
"I believe that job creation is a healing process. By teaching an individual a skill to make a product, you empower that person with much more than just a product he can be proud of. You enable them to put food on the table for their family, give them hope and a desire to live and ultimately gain self-respect. In turn you help a community to lower the crime rate and ideally heal a community as a whole."
THE BIG PICTURE
"South Africa is still seen as a third world country. Although the country is partially speckled with modern cities and conveniences, the vast majority of the population are poverty-stricken and have an ongoing struggle to survive on a daily basis. For every new job created at grass roots level, a person can support a family of seven to ten in the townships.
To ensure further job creation Bugz has now opened a workshop in Cuernavaca Mexico. This workshop is manned by a team of single moms. This is extremely gratifying for us. Bugz continues to reinvest into the business to fund research and development of new product ranges, trade shows and internet marketing.
At this stage Bugz does not receive any government or non-government funding. All funds have been self-generated out of sheer hard work and enthusiasm from everyone associated with the company and our products."
We pay great attention to detail at each stage of developing our products - from conceptualizing, packaging, marketing to distribution. Through expanding the product ranges of our established core business, we hope to achieve as much growth as possible.
BIO: PAUL ADRIAN HUNTER
Paul Hunter is a British citizen who adds new meaning to the words Power of One. Born in 1951 in the Isle of Wight Paul has known first hand what it means to be homeless and to struggle every day to put food into your mouth. Paul went to work at the age of 9 in order to help feed his family, but found himself without a home when he was just 22 years old. For a time he lived within four walls without a roof in the unforgiving British climate.
He put himself through school to become an Engineer by working full-time and studying one day and two long nights every week for seven years. Once an accomplished musician with his own band and recording contract, Hunter toured the world for 13 years opening for such stellar performers as Annie Lennox and the Eurythmics, Percy Sledge, the Tramps and the Detroit Emeralds.. Decades later his heart is still flooded with those sounds.
When business turned upside down in the UK in 1989, Paul bought one-way tickets to Cape Town South Africa for he and his young family. His first encounter with the African Tribas people came during that time when Paul’s new business partner moved to Cape Town from Kwa Zulu Natal. The proud people had been working in construction 1000 miles away from Cape Town. Little by little they made the trek to Cape Town to find work.
Paul was very impressed with how clever and bright the people were and how they possessed such great dignity. For years Paul worked side-by-side with these proud warriors until the property market in Cape Town collapsed and suddenly they were without work once again. Each person supports between seven and ten family members and sends nearly all of their money home to Kwa Zulu Natal for support.
With the property market a shambles Paul needed a way to pay the rent and so when his brother gave him the butterfly idea he jumped on it and began working around the clock in the garage. His hands were bloodied and he had not slept in weeks but he finally got the product finished. His eleven year old daughter decided to take the finished butterflies out and sell them for pocket money and so Bugz was born. He brought the first of what would be many Zulu workers into the Bugz family from his former property development workers.
At first they thought it was women’s work these handmade butterflies and dragonflies but soon welcomed the opportunity to make money and have a stabile job. Paul began with one person and absolutely no command of the language. Della was the first to begin working and he spoke no English. Using sign language Paul taught Della to make the butterflies and dragonflies. One by one they came to work.
His empathy for the people grew by the hour and he worked ceaselessly to make changes in their lives each day. Over the years there were many challenges to face, but he forged on determined to provide sustainable employment so that they could feed their families. He gave them the shoes off of his feet and the clothing off of his back until he had little left. With the modest funds he had from the sales of the butterflies and dragonflies he supported the workers taking little or nothing for himself.
Paul was determined to give these proud people a chance at a proper life. Soon the Bugz “factory” was abuzz with nearly 20 team members. Paul has seen them through sickness and personal trauma and tragedy; through fires that ravaged their shacks and took all of their possessions. He cried when several of his workers left to return to Kwa Zulu Natal to die of HIV. He personally provided shelter and clothing for them even when it meant that he went without.
His mission in life has been to build proper housing for his workers so that they can enjoy the pleasure of running water; the ability to turn a light on and not to live with the danger of open paraffin heaters; to live under sanitary conditions and to be able to put food on their tables and maintain their incredible dignity.
He has done all of this without any outside Corporate, Individual or Government funding using only personal money from the sales of the Bugz products or the sale of personal property to support this one-time garage project. These little Bugz have been responsible for supporting hundreds of African workers and their families. Single-handed he took these beautiful butterfly and dragonfly window suckers from just a dream to a Humanitarian Project that proves the Power of One premise. Each and every butterfly and dragonfly that is sold helps feed the team and their families and gives them the dignity that they inherently possess.
As this project grows from Paul’s new outreach in the USA, it is his dream in the future to be able to provide even more sustainable employment for the African people. This is the Bugz goal of housing, clinic and perhaps even a center for learning, since in the end, it is education that is going to change lives. Paul Hunter, one person making a difference ten people at a time.
BIO: GEORGENE SUMMERS
California girl Georgene Summers is a born entrepreneur with a wild streak in her that just won’t quit. An adventurer, author, wild-life photographer, inventor, businesswoman, fashionista, and sometimes whirling dervish the wildly animated Summers seems to have done it all.
Georgene spent several highly successful decades in the fashion accessories business between Los Angeles and New York City when she finally decided to embark on a variety of new careers in rapid sequence. Several years on Wall Street as a Commodities Associate proved to be rewarding and far too stressful for the creative Summers. She left Wall Street to build a nightclub in midtown-Manhattan the likes of which had never been seen in the city before. Summers, always just slightly ahead of her time built a 15,000 square foot club that became the “home away from home” for models, chic “Euro trash” and celebrities galore. The club, called Bolero, prided itself on privacy and chic decadence and hosted many hot and happening parties which celebrated stars like Mary Wilson of the Supremes, the wild and wonderful Grace Jones, the original Village People, the late Andy Warhol and Lifestyles guru Robin Leach.
Georgene is not one to say no to anything as she plunged into her next re-creation with vengeance and started two businesses, one in telecommunications and the other inventing two fitness related items. She currently holds two patents. Since 1996 she has been traveling to Africa and going on safari alone with only her Masai guide Hagai as company. In May 2007 Summers completed what would be her fourth big safari for over 3 weeks in the bush. Content on her own dining out in the middle of the Serengeti by the light of a candle or rising at 5 am to the sound of the baboons in the trees outside her campsite she loves traveling into the bush to photograph all of the animals and has now decided to offer her photographs for sale on an upcoming website.
In 2002 Georgene made a decision that would change her life as she knew it. She decided to move to Africa for a year or two so that she could be of help to others and spend more time on safari. She started working with Xhosa tribeswomen teaching them how to make commercially viable cell phone bags using available skills and materials. The project was self-funded and took nearly all of her time and money and forced her to temporarily give up her dream of going back into the bush. In 2004 after deciding to return to America with her three little dogs she met her soulmate. No one would have imagined that in the middle of South Africa the beautiful Georgene would meet that special man in the form of a humble, modest and good looking guy named Paul Hunter. Her life would change dramatically as they moved from friends to husband and wife New Years Eve 2004.
Since then the enigmatic Summers has been traveling back and forth from Africa to the states working with Paul to bring focus to the project that has been near and dear to his heart…Bugz. In her spare time Georgene is an accomplished author who has penned three incredible books on relationships. "Blind Spots: The Ultimate Guide to Love In The Dark" which is her latest book. ”The Dating Dance…confessions of the spider and the fly” and “No One Moved Your Cheese.” Georgene just released her first in a series of 3 volumes of short love stories "50 Shades of Love, A Collection of Romances" on Amazon Kindle. She has also written several poetry books and two screenplays. Georgene is currently working on her Memoir and a Childrens Book about her many African animals entitled “Henny Penny Featherhead and the Band of Bunnies.” She supports orphaned baby elephants through the amazing Daphne Sheldrick in Nairobi, Kenya and is working with her guide on an educational project to stop female genital mutilation among the Masai by sending the young girls to boarding school.