by Margaret Kadi:
I have started a venture called ‘Project Sierra Leone’ and it is all about empowering the women of Sierra Leone. I was born in Sierra Leone but have been living in the UK for the last 17 years. I recently went back for a visit after all this time and was blinded by the colours and buzz of the place. I visited a few markets and made contact with 7 women that were in a bad situation.
They made the most amazing products but were struggling to sell them as Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world. Believe me, I am not a designer or anything but I left them thinking that surely there must be a way that I can help. I have a passion for handbags as I am the proud owner of about 200 bags myself so I thought that could be a great starting point. I came back to London and gave up my job at Sky Sports (PA to Director of Operations, Sky Sports) because I feel like this is so much more rewarding as I am investing in people and changing lives.
I love different textures so I decided to get some handbeaded clutch bags made but in simple designs. All the bags are lined in the finest African Cloth and they have a zip for easy access. I have only got a limited collection of 10 at the moment because I wanted to firstly see how they will be received and secondly to search for outlets to showcase my beautiful goodies. All the women I work with are paid a fair wage. By this I mean they are paid the prices they set per item. The bags are priced at £70 each.
I have also made some beautiful Kaftans. I think Kaftans are so versatile because they are not just meant to be worn on the beach. Team it up with leggings, skinny jeans and you are good to go! The Kaftans are priced at £60. I am in the process of setting up a website but you can call me on 07947 761 820 or email me at email@example.com.