Maasai Chic was started with the idea of bringing the beauty of African fashion to the US. My husband Jeff and I got the idea after one of our annual January mission trips to Kenya. I had fallen in love with the vibrant colors of Maasai beaded jewelry and African wax print fabrics the first time we went to Kenya together in 2014. It was on one of our subsequent trips that I had an epiphany. We serve those in extreme poverty in villages where there is much untapped potential for economic growth. Many of the women are trained in intricate bead working from a very young age as part of their cultural heritage. Many are also great seamstresses out of necessity. If I was enamored by what these women produce, wouldn’t other women in the US be too? Could I find a way to turn what these women already do into economic growth for them?
Statistics show that when you employ women in developing countries outside of the home, economic growth happens.(1.) Not only do economies grow, but they grow faster than when employing men. When women work outside the home, the world changes! To this end, we started Maasai Chic with the desire to empower Kenyan women entrepreneurs and artisans by purchasing their goods at fair and competitive prices and bringing them to you, our customers. We believe that sustainable employment, not charity, is the key to bringing these women and their families out of crippling poverty. They will be able to provide for the everyday needs of their families and also for education for their children (including girls!). Female education can change lives for generations!
While we are a small company now, we are looking to have maximum impact in Kenya for the long term. Toward this end, we are excited to announce that we are in the beginning stages of starting a home base in Kenya that will train and employ women artisans to make our goods exclusively. This will give these women life-long skills and long-term employment. This will also give us the ability to have even more oversight to ensure that these women are treated fairly, with respect and dignity. We will also have even more ability to make sure they are paid fair wages. Even more importantly, we will ensure that each dollar you spend with us has maximum impact in changing lives. Stay tuned here for updates on our progress!
We appreciate you partnering with us in this mission. We hope you will love your purchase as much as we loved procuring it for you. We would love to connect with you. Please contact us at any of the links below. Until then, stay Maasai Chic ladies!
We'd love to hear from you!
(Jeff and Mary Nairobi, Kenya January 2017)