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Business with Purpose


May 26, 2021

My guest this week is Fisayo Che, a mother of three and founder of apparel brand Elisamama. She created the brand after a long search for quality kids’ clothing that was fun and functional and used colors like her Nigerian roots. Every piece of her clothing is made in Nigeria, and she wants to provide jobs and skills training for people there. 

3:31 – Fisayo 101

  • Elisamama is founded with a commitment to promote joy and to make a difference.
  • She wants to provide an economic opportunity for her artisans.

5:38 – Where does her joy come from?

  • There’s a saying that Nigerians are the happiest people. They don’t take life as seriously, and they are thankful to have a home and be happy.

7:42 – Moving to the U.S.

  • She was born in Europe and traveled elsewhere, so she didn’t have a cultural shock when she moved to the U.S.

10:03 – Finding stylish kids’ clothes

  • People think FIsayo has a deep love for fashion, but that’s not the case. Fashion, for Fisayo, is more about utility.
  • There has been a huge shift to neutrals in the past few years, but Fisayo prefers more colorful clothes with more personality.

15:27 – Talent is equally distributed, opportunity is not

  • We have to keep reminding ourselves that talent is equally distributed but opportunity is not.
  • She noticed that quality was not a priority in the sewing world in Nigeria.

22:40 – Tipping point

  • Fisayo felt responsibility for the lives of her team members and felt pressure for her company to be successful.
  • It’s an intense motivation to keep her business going.

27:02 – Developing her team

  • Technology has been one of her company’s biggest blessings, especially as she develops her team.

30:29 – On the horizon

  • Fisayo wants to pick up additional retail accounts and keep the ship afloat.

35:40 – Get to know you

  • Something you’d never guess about Fisayo? She wrestled in high school.

FEATURED QUOTES

“Elisamama is my brand that is founded with a commitment to promote joy and to make a difference.” – Fisayo

“We design and we produce really fun, vibrant, exciting, joyful clothing using African-inspired prints.” – Fisayo

ABOUT FISAYO CHE: 

Fisayo Che, a mother of three, is the founder of apparel brand Elisamama. Fisayo established the brand after a long search for quality kids’ clothing that was not only fun and functional but also reflects a bold use of color, emblematic of Fisayo’s Nigerian roots.

The Elisamama brand’s joyful, easy-to-wear and stylish clothing is made with African-inspired wax print fabrics. Every piece is handmade in Nigeria by a team of local artisans.

While the core business of Elisamama is providing quality clothing that promote joy, the heart of the business mission is to provide jobs and skills training for Nigerian artisans, with the purpose of providing them a pathway towards economic empowerment and improved quality of life.

Thank you to our partners of the show:

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I’d like to introduce you to Deux Mains. In French, Deux Mains means two hands. Why ‘two-hands’? Because everything they create is made by trained artisans who use their two hands to make their life better while crafting beautiful products.

Truly, this is a company that set out to change lives and make a positive impact in the world. It started when the founder, Julie, wanted to create dignified jobs in Haiti, a place she was growing to love, and that was exploding with creativity. She wanted to share this talent with the world.

Julie set up an educational program to train people with artisan skills and then went on to build a factory that operates on 100% solar energy. Deux Mains now employs more than 40 artisans that handcraft premium leather goods, jewelry and sandals. Their lives are forever changed by their craft.

What’s also cool is their products incorporate an eco-friendly twist, working with responsibly sourced materials and repurposed inner-tube and tires in their designs.

When you buy from Deux Mains, you get to be part of a movement that is making a difference in the world, while adding an incredibly well-made piece to your closet that supports conscious living!

You can discover their products online at deuxmains.com.