DR Congo, outside Bukavu-
She had a rebellion on her hands. The ladies (and men) stood around, some with arms crossed, others in dismay and defeat, but all with the same question,
“Why can’t we take our machines away?”
The cooperative was in crisis. Formed to help the new tailoring graduates learn some marketing and basic business skills before taking their machines home, the cooperative was not the problem. It was the lack of market. They had spent the past two months making school uniforms (a requirement in many Africa countries) and their profit was only 10 cents per uniform–the most anyone was able to pay.
Their thinking was that if they took the machines home at least they could sit at home and make no money. But the reality is that the value of the machine would, in a short time, beg to be put up for sale and then they would be back to zero.
What to do?
We found a model, they made some fabulous samples and voila! Shakoshi.com was born.
The orders began trickling in. The tailors started making a steady living. And so did the many cloth merchant mamas, who now found a ready market for their cloth.
That was just the beginning. Orders grew and people around the world fell in love with the Shakoshi bags. Now tailors in other cooperatives in the Congo are able to get the training needed, sew the bags and finally be able to display and sell their purses online.
This story of having no market in which to sell goods and make a profit is not an uncommon one. In fact, it is very typical of the region. That is what makes Shakoshi.com so exciting!
As the demand grows, other sewing co-ops can join in making Shakoshi bags. To learn a bit more about each co-op in particular see the drop-down menu.
It’s a big step, but Shakoshi Import and e-marketing is giving them a venue and shop-front they’ve never had access to before–helping them to compete with the big guys while keeping the profit in their pockets.