10 Things we are celebrating, talking about and loving this Women’s Day
Happy Women’s Day! Today as we reflect and celebrate the achievements and contribution of women in the fight towards equality, Women Mean Business would like to share 10 things we are celebrating, talking about and loving as a way to inspire more women to do more and be more in this journey of social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women in Africa and beyond.
1. This month we are reading BELIEVE BIGGER by Marshawn Evans Daniels. Entrepreneurship is never easy and there are times that you will want to give up yet you have to be resilient. Believe Bigger is about discovering your life’s purpose and how God uses hardship and rejection to help you embrace your life’s purpose. Daniels also shares her experience on how after hitting rock bottom, she was able to get back up and build a financially stable multimillion-dollar faith base enterprise. You can get Believe Bigger on Amazon or listen to it on Audible.
2. We love all things African, especially African food and drinks, so this Women’s day we are loving Maria Bradford Kitchen. This UK Based Sierra Leonean culinary artist is showing the world that not only is African food healthy, it is also very tasty with an infusion of flavors and mouthwatering experiences. Maria Bradford also infuses her Sierra Leonean culture with the art of fine dining by creating experiences to share authentic Sierra Leonean dishes, drinks and culture as a means to introducing African food to a broader network. We just love the Maria Bradford juices taking traditional African fruit juices like Ginger beer, Tombe and Bissap (hibiscus juice) these traditional healthy juices are great to drink on their own or serve as a mixture for cocktails. Follow @mariabradfordkitchen to be inspired by her unique African drinks and cuisines.
She Did That! Thank you Renae Bluitt and Netflix for giving us a deeper look into the journey of entrepreneurship from a black women’s perspective. We often see and hear about the glamour of being a “boss lady” and we might see other women in business rising to the top effortlessly, but don’t realize the obstacles that black women go through as they work to build sustainable businesses. The highs, lows, turns and curves are many and we hardly hear about them or see them on social media. This movie tells the stories of five Black women and their entrepreneurial journey taking a deeper look at their challenges and successes and as they work to break barriers in their respective industries to build legacy-based businesses and inspire the next generation of black female entrepreneurs. She Did That gives us an authentic real-life story of how black girl magic is used to inspire and create Black Girl Bosses. She Did That is available now on Netflix.
4. One of our all-time favorites is back with a bang. Maryzo Design’s love for fashion and style is impeccable, This Pan-African fashion house, established in 2009, provides African inspired custom-made modern styles for women globally. The Founder and creative director Amizo, uses her creativity and imagination by drawing from her everyday life inspirations. Her detailed memory combined with a love for colours stimulates her creative process. The individuality of her designs is birthed out of the correlation between sketching and her concurrent disposition. Amizo is a true testament of a women determined, a mix of hard work, creativity and determination has kept this brand going for over 10 years. Her work and passion for fashion has taken her from West Africa to Asia and South African where she is currently based. Go to www.maryzo.com to purchase from their latest collection.
We love women owned businesses and brands, but we also love socially cautious brands that have women at the heart of what they do. We can’t stop talking about Finor X, “finor” which means beauty in the temene language of Sierra Leone is an eco-conscious African inspired clothing, jewelry, arts and cultural brand that believes in supporting African women. Finor X believes that women play an integral role in stopping climate change and providing a better livable future for their families, communities and country. What we love most about the brand is their collective effort directly to support African communities by championing indigenous fabrics, environmental initiatives, support of local artisans and paying ethical wage whilst at the same time connecting the African diaspora to the continent through fashion and arts. For more visit: www.finorx.com.
6. It’s so important for us as women to find time to rest and relax. Whether you do it alone or with your friends, make sure you take time and get away to rest, relax and rejuvenate. Cape Verde is considered the new Caribbean in West Africa. This former Portuguese colony comprises 10 islands each offering their own cultural experiences and a mix of activities and excursions. From sandy white beaches to all-inclusive hotels, spas and fine dining, Cape Verde Islands is a great place for solo trip, girls’ trips or for business retreat.
A first-generation Sierra Leonean-American millennial wife and mother to two baby girls, Dr. Marie Mansaray established the lifestyle brand Rie Defined to inspire the goal-getter woman to refrain from being discouraged by societal constraints of household matriarchy and to instead reserve a bit of that ambition to fuel her life’s purpose. Marie was forced into living a renewed life of purpose following her most vulnerable days of being pregnant out of wedlock. As she holds herself most accountable to aligning with her Christian and cultural values, her own shame, discouragement, and disappointment pushed over the edge emotionally. This forced Marie into overcoming her perceived criticism and judgments of her community by digging deeper into a state in which she ‘Rie-Defined’ how she sought out to live her life moving forward not only for herself but, present day, for her children as well. As a blogger, Marie offers partnerships with other value-aligned brands for creative digital content creation and advertising via YouTube, Instagram, and other social media outlets. Keep up with Mari’s journey on Rie Defined
We are celebrating Tosin Durotoye, this trailblazing consultant strategist and founder of The Bloom Africa – an initiative that curates engagements and safe spaces for ambitious African women to connect, learn and grow, within Nigeria and across Africa and the Diaspora. Tosin moved back to Nigeria in 2016 and since her return she has been taking Africa by storm investing in the lives of women and young girls providing them with opportunities for business growth and collaboration. She is also the Director of GreenHouse Lab, where she established the first female-focused tech accelerator program in Nigeria and the only "Powered by Google" accelerator program in Africa. Follow @tosindurotoye on Instagram and be inspired.
9. Trippies is a Sierra Leonean fashion brand that designs and mass produce contemporary African clothing using vibrant African prints. They also produce handmade leather goods and accessories, all ethically handcrafted in Africa. Their attention to detail and style sets them apart from many new designers. Trippie’s clothes are modern and chic and perfect for the everyday businesswoman or fashionista who wants to feel comfortable and look fabulous. If you’re in Freetown check out Trippies at 73 Campbell Street Freetown or follow them on Instagram @trippiesclothing.
10. Ghana is still buzzing after hosting a successful “Year of the Return” with events that marked the 400 years since enslaved Africans arrived in the United States. Over 750,000 visitors made their way to Ghana in December to commemorate, celebrate, experience the cultural and touristic aspects of what Ghana has to offer. We are loving how model and entrepreneur Hamamat Montia took advantage of the Year of Return and launched her new venture the Hamamat Africa Village, a hotel, spa and museum located in Accra, Ghana that is a replica of a rural village hut. Hamamat is known internationally for sharing the story of her ancestor and the shea making business and journey and connection of Shea Butter coming from a small African village and finding its way around the world. This woman owned social enterprise is truly something worth celebrating. Follow @hamamataafricanvillage to learn more.