DE 012: 18 countries for $0, and a fashion label that Michelle Obama will wear
Maryanne backpacked around 18 countries in Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia and paid for it all by selling small collections of clothing she made with local fabrics in each of those countries. Using that experience, she now runs Osei-Duro, which designs and produces clothing in Ghana using traditional textile techniques. Michelle Obama wore one of their skirts on a 2013 trip to Africa.
If you have ever wondered how you are going to come up with a creative idea to pay for your trip around the world, Maryanne’s story will give you some inspiration. We also delve into the nitty gritty of how to set up a fashion business in a developing country, what resources you need, and what kind of expectations you should set for yourself.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:
- How Laura Ingalls Wilder inspired Maryanne to get involved with fashion
- What consignment is, and why it is the lowest cost entry point into a fashion business
- The financials upsides and downsides of consignment
- How you can use your fashion skills to travel around the world
- The benefits of starting a fashion company in a developing country, while still having operations in the US
- How much it costs to start a fashion business in West Africa
- The importance of a strong web presence
- How ethical business practices can be interwoven with the story of clothing
- The impact on the company when Michelle Obama wore an Osei-Duro skirt
RESOURCES AND LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- You can buy clothes from Oseiduro.com, and you will also find a list of the companies that stock their clothes
- Kwantlen Polytechnic University, the university in Canada where Osei Duro gets many of its highly qualified interns
- A good resource for aspiring fashion company owners in West Africa is watradehub.com
- Examples of well funded online fashion portals are The Outnet and Accompanyus
- Two of Osei-Duro’s big name clients are Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters
WHAT CREATIVE THINGS HAVE YOU DONE TO CUT DOWN OR ELIMINATE YOUR TRAVEL COSTS?
In the podcast we discuss how Maryanne used her fashion skills while on the road to pay for her travel. I am keen to hear other stories of people doing creative things to pay for their adventure. Even if you only have a plan to do something in the future, share it below.
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