… a brand for a cause
Owning an ‘it-brand’ is the ultimate desire of every designer. However, it lies in one’s choice of purpose that can make the brand stand out from the crowd. With Myeisha, there is more to the brand than what meets the eye.
‘Myeisha is Love’ is a local company that produces high end handmade leather bags. Myeisha is the mother-branch and was created in 2015. It functions as the export branch, which creates funds for the local daughter company ‘iNAMi’, as well as the Non-Profit Charity Trust ‘Especially Namibian.’ The company started with industrial sowing machines which were given as a donation from Germany.
Founding director, Sandra Baumeister says that they initially wanted to set up a trust that does charity work, feed children and give back to the community. “We wanted to make a difference to the world. Our hearts are with the people here and our love for fashion and appreciation made us think that everybody deserves some kind of appreciation in their lives. I suffered a little bit in life and I want to change that for me, the people working for me and the people who buy the bag and understand the story behind it,” she said.
The name Myeisha is of Swahili origin and its meaning run along the lines of “the one that is loved dearly.” It is a message that lies very close to Sandra’s heart. She has learned over the years how important it is to be valued and loved. This notion also runs parallel to her hope that the produced bags will be highly valued and loved.
“The bag should be appreciated the same way that the people who produce it should be appreciated. It’s everything about appreciation. We appreciate our passionate staff who work hard everyday – we appreciate them a lot because when something is made with love it’s seen in the good quality of the products. Therefore, the lady who is buying and wearing it should also be proud and happy. We also want to produce quality and not just put something together. We really want to produce quality that you can appreciate and that you can be happy with,” explained Sandra.
‘Myeisha’ currently employs thirteen underprivileged Namibians with the aim of giving them the opportunity to produce bags, thereby providing them with hope and enabling them to empower themselves. “We made sure that they all received training as none of them had the skills. Every year we try to enrich them with skills obviously in line with what we are doing. We also try to get them to value themselves and also to stimulate creativity because we need to come up with new designs. Thus they need to be comfortable and confident when their hands stitch and empower them to the point that they don’t always have to ask the production managers as to what to do,” said Sandra. Two of the employees were sent to South Africa for a leather course while another two did a beading course.
Some of the profits made from both brands go into the trust that currently supports a younger teacher’s training and a kindergarten in Katutura. We feed over 50 children in that kindergarten and we are currently looking forward to building an orphanage,” Sandra mentioned.
‘Myeisha’ products are of high quality and they are unique, special, comfortable, stylish and modern to wear, but also timely. They are suitable for every occasion, one could choose to wear a clutch with jeans or with a night dress because it goes well with everything. Myeisha makes you look nicer and you also feel more confident.
iNAMi which means love is derived from one of the oldest native languages in Namibia. It was especially created for the local Namibian and South African market. It is more African with a funky style.
Kym Kibble who is also one of the directors, says that despite the difficulty within the Namibian market they are hoping that people see the story behind the brand. “We employ Namibians who didn’t have jobs before and we also feed children. We want to return something to the community by providing help through self-help – and so we make this world a little bit better for the women and children of Namibia.
We have developed, especially for Myeisha, five models now and we are currently very busy to set up our first master collection to be sold in the showrooms. We have done a lot of local trade shows but I think in Namibia we don’t have quantity and buying power and that is why we have chosen that the Myeisha brand goes to Europe while iNAMi remains a local brand, although they can both be found here,” she concludes.
iNAMi products are available for purchase at Wilderness Safaris, Wolwedans, C-Squared and Mirror Mirror in Swakopmund (opening today).
You can visit their website at www.myeishanamibia.com