Ok, so our first photo shoot was exciting, but this way really fantastic! Our handbags were featured with Sonia Mugabo Designs, a beautiful designer with a lovely line of clothing. And as my staff was quick to point out, she’s really a star! It was an honor and we were all very aware of how kind she was to include us.
We featured 10 handbags and most importantly learned a whole lot about how this works. Such a professional group of people and one who flys in from NYC to make this all go smoothly. The event was pulled together by Collective RW, a group of designers who came together to showcase their respective brands. This was their third year.
We look forward to working with them in the future.
Yes, we took to the streets of Kigali armed with photography equipment, beautiful clothes and a lovely model to shoot our first collection of handbags. What a great day and a really wonderful experience with everyone. Special thanks to Alyn Sano, singer & model for her smile and professionalism. To our photographer, Bruce Nshimiyimana for his eye, and to Patience at Haute Baso for pulling together our clothing.
Our goal was to find ways to showcase our city as well as our handbags. I hope you enjoy seeing some of the sites.
I love this picture of Jati. She just looked so beautiful and sexy and carrying her backpack that we had to take her picture. Yes, she tells us she wears it all the time. With kids, she needs her hands free!
We continue to see great support amongst the Rwanda expat community and we really thank them for their consideration when looking for gifts for their family back home and for handbags that fit into their lifestyle.
Our clients are well-traveled, sophisticated and truly enjoy both the urban and rural world in which they visit and live. They care about style and most importantly quality. We are blessed by having their patronage and their feedback. Our line gets better everyday because of them.
It’s really a lovely place Egypt. I’m not a desert person. I don’t like the dry, sandy, heat, but seeing it in late December and early January, it had a special feeling. Now, maybe it was all the Christmas decorations, and the huge smiles from so many people who were so happy to see Americans. Egypt’s Christmas is celebrated on the 7th of January, so we heard “Merry Christmas” everywhere. With only a small population of their country Christian, I was surprised, but everyone said it.
Of course, you do for the temples, and we saw many of them. Ramsee’s Abu Simbal was of course, the most spectacular. But I also admired Hatshepsut’s as well as her story of being one of the best pharaohs, and a woman too. Thirty years of prospering under this lady, and no war! She also opened up trade with Somalia, which brought Egypt a new trading partner. Though I’m not sure what Somalia got from it.
It was great to be inside the temples, and you can still see the colors from many of the paintings. Bright blue, green and yellows. When you could get close to one that still had it’s outline, it was cool to see the details of black lines around the face and eyes. I also saw a number of patterns that were copied for the Art Deco and Art Nouveau movements in the early part of the 20th century.
It also got me to thinking about patterns for our linings, I think working with those colors and patterns for a lining in our handbags would be perfect. Stay tuned…
Was given the opportunity last week to join CollectiveRW for popups in Nairobi. Wonderful experience and as always made great by the generosity of the people who allowed me to be a part of it. Thanks Linda Ndungutsr, Founder of Haute Baso for including us. Also, special shout out to Sonia Mugabo, SM Designs and Teta Isibo of Inzuki for always making us feel welcome. Definitely, the new kid on the block, but feeling part of the neighborhood. There are some very talented and generous designers in Rwanda.
Though I’m not sure this would be appreciated by her name sake, my CoCo 5, is just what I need for inspiration in producing a first class, casual line of handbags for the African market. She makes me smile!
Umva! Going shopping? Here in Rwanda we don’t use plastic and canvas bags are strongly recommended. Take this Rwandaful bag with you. Made of hopsack cloth and printed with the Rwanda flag colors and some of our favorite expressions. Learn a little Kinyarwanda or teach it to others.
Find these bags at Five Volcanos Boutique Hotel in Musanze. Sawa!
Yes, I’m not one for long emails or writing diaries. I’m more about the doing than the recording which has frustrated some of friends from the States who would love to learn more about our life here in Rwanda. But now as I’m working to support the line, I’m hoping I’ll share more so you’ll learn more.
I really do love this handbag. Any time I go out in Kigali, San Francisco, or London, it is so nice to have your possessions secure, so you can enjoy looking around, visiting and shopping without having to worry. This bag has our proprietary pattern from our “One Language is Not Enough” line, plus leather from Kenya and kitenge from the local market.
Currently we are selling the bags online and at Haute Baso in Kigali. The bag comes in brown and black leather. Coming soon, red and navy. They are on order, and I’ll share when it is available.
Yeah, I couldn’t resist, that’s how I’m feeling right now. This has been a while coming, so many designs floating through my head, but we now have four designs produced and out in the public. Additionally, three more are in production. We’ve also started our Rwandaful bags in both black & white and with the Rwandan flag, great for taking with you when you’re shopping for the groceries.
We are thrilled to have our bags in Haute Baso in Nyarutarama and Dokmai at the Lemigo Hotel. Please look for them and support our great retailers.
I look forward to sharing more with you about Rwanda, East Africa and Africa as I get the opportunity to travel the continent. My goal for the brand is produce handbags, accessories and luggage with materials solely supplied in Africa. Right now we are close, but we are bringing in hardware from Italy and canvas from the United States, so we have a ways to go.
I look forward to hearing from our clients, please send me a private note, or comments on Facebook and other social media is also appreciated.