EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF AN UGANDAN FASHION COMPANY? Sign me up.
Hi friends! Little announcement. To make a long story short...
This May, I went to Uganda for the first time. Fell in love. Quit my job back in the states. And said "YES!" to becoming the executive director of a new Ugandan fashion company, called WEND.
Before I flew back, I promised the ladies I would do EVERYTHING in my power to help them out. Immediately, I knew what had to be done. Before I could even finish my thought process, I blurted out the words "LET'S BRING WEND TO THE US."
So. Ladies and gentlemen. I'm soooooo stoked to FINALLY announce a secret I have been holdin' in the whole summer....
(drum roll please)
WE ARE OFFICIALLY LAUNCHING WEND IN THE UNITED STATES!!!!!! 🇺🇸
TOMORROW, I will be heading back to Gulu with my newest intern (my dad) to work on designing our new line of backpacks which will be available online in 2017!
Still a tad confused about all this?
No worries. Everybody is when I tell em' haha 😂
Check out the info below!
WHAT IS WEND?
WEND, Women Empowerment Network Design, is a social minded fashion company that employs and empowers women who were formerly affected by the LRA.
HISTORY The women supported by WEND were all directly affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) conflict. Many were forced to become child soldiers or wives to LRA commanders. During the war, many women were brutalized and raped. For the women who were lucky enough to escape, many returned with children. When they returned home, the women and children were ostracized due to their former affiliation with the rebels. Taken captive at a tender age, many lacked a basic education and upon their escape from the LRA, they were taken to rehabilitation centers where they received three months of counseling and basic training in tailoring. With a skill for which an already flooded market exists, many were left without the means to support themselves and their children. In order to respond to this need and take advantage of the skills that these women already had, Invisible Children developed the Mend program (2007-2014) which independently evolved into WEND in 2016.
WHAT WE DO
+ We produce handmade, stylish, high-quality bags + We provide our ladies with financial stability and employment, which allows them to provide for their families + We provide our ladies with advanced training in tailoring, finance, and personal development
WHO MADE YOUR BAG? Our handbags are story-driven. Each WEND bag will proudly bear a tag and autobiographical card showing the name of the woman who sewed your bag, such as Anena Grace. Each individual name will unlock an online profile of a woman employed by WEND. Through video bios and photos we will share how she is on the mend because of a simple purchase.
us launch '17
Right now we are in the process of completely revampin' our company from the ground up! Come 2017, we will officially be selling our beautiful bags in the United States!
Stay tuned for our new website, new line of backpacks & many more exciting things to come!
We have a LOT of work ahead of us. And I have never been more thrilled.
You can follow our journey as we prepare to launch on Instagram @ugandansar!