Awa Conateh had the chance to attend style reveals from a younger age. Benefitting from the robust creative influences of her mom, a seamstress and occasion organizer, Awa began embellishing her attire with vibrant equipment and ultimately began creating her personal designs. After receiving compliments on her distinctive outfits, she started producing garments for her associates. Her label YAWS Creations was born in 2007.
Beginning as a small home-based enterprise, Awa has steadily been increasing her operations. Being one of many youngest style designers within the Gambia on the time, her revolutionary method rapidly gained consideration.
“I targeted on utilizing African prints in up to date methods,” explains the style designer. “Again then, style within the Gambia was fairly conventional and showcased in resorts, whereas my model was a brand new factor. That gave me a buzz.”
Right now, Awa employs about 10 folks and produces quite a lot of gadgets, from clothes and attire to equipment and inside residence decorations.
Seizing a chance to obtain coaching on product packaging in addition to 1:1 teaching by a style knowledgeable, the Gambian turned a member of the Worldwide Commerce Centre’s SheTrades initiative. By means of the programme, Awa additionally had the chance to take part in research journeys to be taught extra about garment manufacturing and benefited from worldwide networking alternatives. The designer describes SheTrades as an empowering companion, one who motivates and helps entrepreneurs whereas offering entry to abilities growth.
“I’m glad to be a SheTrades member,” Awa says. “I’ve realized loads from the teaching, particularly being conscious of issues that I took with no consideration, and making ready my enterprise for progress. Realizing the facility of social media and presenting on a digital commerce truthful ready me for the longer term.”
Awa labored on her marketing strategy and pricing construction. With the assistance of a SheTrades coach, she launched into rebranding her assortment for a bigger market. She believes that these steps are essential to place her firm for funding and worldwide exporting.
Attending the SheTrades World occasion in the UK and a SheTrades research journey to Ethiopia was very inspiring for Awa. She networked with different entrepreneurs, thought-about new exporting alternatives and shared greatest practices along with her friends.
Upon her return to the Gambia, Awa organized occasions that includes Gambian skills in style and began mentoring up-and-coming younger designers herself, passing on her data to style college students and start-ups to encourage younger ladies for a profession in style.
Whereas many companies struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic, YAWS Creations engaged in hands-on work to mitigate the disaster. Initially, the corporate produced face masks for much less privileged folks. Impressed by the design, different prospects began inquiring in regards to the YAWS Creations masks which they have been keen to purchase. Regardless of the challenges at hand, Awa’s enterprise managed to safe a brand new product phase.
SheTrades within the Gambia is funded by the OPEC Fund and the Enhanced Built-in Framework.
To contact SheTrades, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.