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About us

Shanecka Bedford (left) and Robert Bedford (right), Co-founders of Heads Up HeadgearHeads Up Trading Co. was founded in July 2016 by husband and wife team Robert and Shanecka Bedford.  Our company specializes in providing handmade fair-trade fashion accessories, made by a spectrum of indigenous cultures, with the intent to create continuous employment opportunities for people around the world.  Our mission to empower others to be economically independent stems from our founders’ desire to have a meaningful impact on the world around them. We also value our customers. Your experience means everthing to us. If you have any concerns about your product please email us at email@headsuptc.com or call (513)580-8733. 

Our values are built around the following principles:

  • The celebration and preservation of culture
  • Unity amongst people from all walks of life
  • Creating hope in seemingly hopeless situations
We strive to:
  • Keep people working
  • Support small businesses
  • Be customer centric
  • Provide excellent customer service

Our Story

From humble beginning, Robert and Shanecka Bedford gave birth to the idea that beautifully made, fair-trade accessories could drive social change and give people hope. Prior to starting Heads Up Trading Co., Robert and Shanecka worked many jobs which required them to work long hours often working seven days a week. Over the years, they found that focusing on making money left little time for friends, family, or time to enjoy life. Robert says that he got tired of working remedial jobs and living paycheck to paycheck. Shanecka says that she got tired of the redundancy of working in Corporate America.

“Every year I took a survey where my employer asked if I felt like my job was meaningful and every year myself and everyone else I knew checked no. I got tired of it and realized that I wanted my work to really mean something. If I was going to get up and do something every day. I wanted to love it. I wanted to bring happiness to myself and encourage people to find happiness themselves.”

Determined to change this, they decide to step out of their comfort zone and try their hand at entrepreneurship. They bought a van and began to travel throughout the Midwest, offering handmade fair-trade products at festivals and local events.  Through their entrepreneurial experiences, they met extraordinary people and encountered enlightening situations that proved to them that they could make a difference in the world.

Why Shop Heads Up Trading Co.

Heads Up Trading Co. started based on a hope and a dream, the hope of becoming financially free, and the dream of being able to do something good in the world.  Robert and Shanecka Bedford started the company with little money and had no idea that they would be able to reach the number of people that we have. All they knew is they wanted to have an impact.  

“We knew that we wanted to set an example and prove to ourselves, our families, our community, and other aspiring entrepreneurs that you really can do anything you want if you believe in yourself and put in the work.  We knew we were on to something when customers started emailing us thanking us for doing what we do or telling us that we helped them beat cancer by spreading peace and positivity.”

All of our products are created using fair-trade practices.  We source our products from trade partners who believe that producers should be paid fair wages for their labor, treated with respect and dignity and are given creative freedom to produce high-quality goods. 

At Heads Up Trading Co. we believe in putting people over profits and are committed to giving back.  A portion of our proceeds is donated to Casita Copán Children’s Home.  When you purchase an accessory from Heads Up Trading Co. you are helping us make the world a better place for all.  We invite you to shop our online store and visit us at upcoming shows and fairs. 

Meet The Bedfords

Meet Robert Bedford, Co-founder of Heads Up Trading Co.

Meet Robert Bedford

Favorite product: Headbands!! I love wearing headbands because they hold my hair back when I’m working, eating, or exercising. I also love how comfortable they are. They are breathable, and I like the way they hug my head.

Favorite activities: I love reading, hiking, exercising, and eating exotic foods. I enjoy doing anything that involves nature. My favorite food is ramen. My dream is to go to Japan and eat the world’s largest ramen bowl.

Fun fact: I gained a deeper appreciation for other cultures when I visited and Indian reservation in South Dakota. I believe that’s where my passion to help other cultures began.

Favorite moment in time: I’d have to say that my favorite moment was seeing someone we donated a headwrap to beat cancer. During our first year, we were vending at an event in Hamilton, Ohio when a woman came into our booth looking for something to cover her head. She was preparing to lose her hair due to chemotherapy. I gave her a tour around our booth. She showed interest in headwrapping and I gave her a free demo to show her how to wrap her head. The headwrap looked very nice. Next, I told her the headwrap was on us. I thought it was more important for her to receive this blessing than it was for me to receive money for the headwrap. She was so moved by this, she broke out in tears and proclaimed that she was going to defeat cancer, and everything was going to be okay. Two years later she returned to our booth with a head full of hair, joyfully announcing that she was currently cancer free. She told me how much what I did meant to her, and that she believes the experience gave her the strength she needed to survive. This story means a lot to me because it reminds me that we are not just helping our artisans and the culture we work with, but we are also bringing joy to our customers as well.

Meet Shanecka Bedford, Co-founder of Heads Up Trading Co.

Shanecka Bedford, Co-founder of Heads Up Headgear

 

Favorite product: Purses or earrings? It’s a tossup, I love both.  I tend to be a plainest when it comes to clothing, but I’m all party when it comes to my accessories. There is nothing like a cute purse or pair of earrings to spice up an outfit.

Favorite activities: I love working out, meditating, yoga, and challenging myself to eat better. I feel like these things help keep me balanced and encourage me to become a better version of myself.

Fun fact:  I used to be really quiet. So quiet, that people were surprised when I talked. If you’d asked people who know me now, quite is probably the last thing they would think of me. When I think back, I’ve changed a lot over the last 10-15 years. The old wouldn’t have had the courage to make videos or speak in public. 

Favorite moment in time:

One day we received an email from one of our vendors stating that his jade carver’s daughter, Milagros, had fallen sick and he couldn’t afford to send her to the hospital. The year prior Milagros’ father had fallen sick, so the family didn’t have money to send the child to the hospital. They weren’t asking for charity, but they had some merchandise that they could sell to raise the money which would be used to send his daughter Milagros to the hospital.

The merchandise they had wasn’t something that we would normally sell, but since it was handmade, fair-trade, and going to help a family in need we bought it and sent an extra donation to make sure that Milagros got the care that she needed. About a month later we sent an email to check up on Milagros and found out that she may have died without that trip to the hospital. We earned the money to pay for the merchandise at an event at which we had vended the week before. My niece wanted to spend some time with us so that day she stopped by the booth and helped us with our great customers. After finding out what happened to Milagros, I called my niece and thanked her for helping us. I told her that thanks to her helping us we were able to help save the life of a little girl in Guatemala.

I couldn’t have imagined the effect that a small act could have on my family. This moment in time not only showed me that what I was doing was helping people, it also showed my niece that no matter how little you have, you can always do something that helps someone else. Sometimes it only takes a small act of kindness to save someone’s life.

 Meet Roxie Bedford, Mascot of Heads Up Trading Co.

Meet Roxie

 

Favorite product: Headbands. I love how they hold my ears back and out of my face, so I don’t see those creepy shadows. They also make a very cute collar if I do say so myself.

Favorite activities: My favorite activities include sleeping, going for long walks, and eating people food.  My favorite food is the homemade beef jerky they make at my favorite pet store.

Fun fact: I once ruined a bar-b-que by stealing an entire tray of meat. I ate it in five seconds flat, so the humans couldn’t take it from me even if they wanted to. I know this might be wrong, but I have no regrets!!

Favorite moment in time: All those times my parents took me to the store and I WAS allowed to go in. Chill guys, it’s okay, it was a pet store.

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