Well, it is truly amazing how fast time flies – and how tough it is as a start-up to both do the work and at the same time TALK ABOUT the work. And so it’s been quite awhile since we’ve been in touch.

We did launch – last November! We had a splashy Kupendiza* launch party in Alexandria, in the Commonwealth of Virginia. People came! Friends and relations and colleagues, and their friends and relations and colleagues.

Dear friend Dolly Pasqual generously offered up a 2nd floor suite in her lovely townhouse at the intersection of King Street and Charles, overlooking the Christmas lights of Old Town. It was a month before Christmas, and that posh location brought out fabulous people from all over!

Why Kupendiza? Everybody asks. Kupendiza is a marketplace for exquisite, world class hand bags and purses, hand made by women around the world. Yes. But there’s more.

Our first partners are all women who started their handbag businesses to fund local community projects:

  • For the African Women & Youth Initiative (AWYI) it’s the HIV/AIDS-affected orphans; the children of family and friends who succumbed to the disease. Their Future African Leaders Project is housing, clothing, providing health care for, and educating 25 children at this time; the first of these is in university.
  • For Global Bridges (GB) the urgency is to get reusable, recyclable, affordable (in other words, fully sustainable) feminine products into the hands of the 65% of Kenyan girls who miss school each month when they are menstruating. A totally solvable problem. GB aims to solve it by manufacturing the cotton pads right there in Nandi. They created Shambala Bags to fund this project.
  • And for the group of artists at Bahari Deco Crafts the mission is to preserve the Swahili textile traditions called “kanga” and “kitenge.” The Bahari bags are made in the U.S., but by Tanzanian seamstresses using imported kanga and kitenge cloth.

This is what moves us at Kupendiza. We believe that women acting together, locally, have the power to change the world!

Purchasing one of these beautiful bags may be only one way to benefit these projects. We promise to let you know about others. Much more about all our partners later!

Thank you for supporting Kupendiza. We adore you!

*  Kupendiza, by the way, is a twist on the Swahili word “kupendeza.” To enchant.

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