Weaving out poverty
Whenever I’m feeling frustrated, demoralised or unhappy, I know it’s time for a reality check! With all my recent travels, launching new collections and opening the new Nairobi shop, I’d postponed a trip I’d been meaning to make for a while – to a village 100km outside Kampala.
A village where a group of women are weaving beautiful raffia baskets and mats, to lift themselves out of poverty. That is what the Kikapu by Furaha B brand is all about – weaving out poverty. The brainchild of the talented Furaha Bishota-Folquet – a good friend with a big heart, intent on empowering other women.
I had a beautiful day getting to know these women. John, the eldest son of the head weaver, translated. He shared stories about how the money earned from weaving was sending children to school and paying for medication and hospital bills. The women’s husbands did not support with these or any expenses.
As the trip was during the Easter break, the kids were on holiday and helping their mothers. Charles (above) demonstrated some really impressive talent and skill!
(Jaria and her daughter, Sugar, who was so sweet!)
The experience was incredibly moving. I left with a profound respect and admiration for these women and their strength. As I’m writing this, tears are streaming down my face but, they aren’t tears of sadness but, of joy and hope for these brave, talented, beautiful women.
I bought around 50 baskets and placed an order for more, with my designs. Who doesn’t like baskets? Who couldn’t use some more? They are useful in any town, city or village. To carry things to the beach or to store magazines, CDs, books, make-up, anything! The are incredibly versatile.
We’re going to jazz up the baskets in Nairobi and render them completely irresistible. Watch this space for our ’Snazzy African Baskets’, made with hope and a lot of TLC!
(View more pictures from my visit on our Facebook page)
Open for business: our new shop at Nairobi’s Village Market
Despite the challenges along the way, we made it! Our new shop at Nairobi’s Village Market shopping centre was completed and on time. We welcome you to visit and say hello. Our official launch will likely take place in September, to coincide with the launch of 99.9%, our next collection.
Until the next time, ciao!