We’re all about a brave heart with a passion for slow fashion + conscious living! Have you met Hannah Theisen? She’s the beauty and brains behind the ethical lifestyle blog, Life+Style+Justice and a Sseko Brave to boot. Keep reading for her top holiday gift picks!
We can’t keep it a secret any longer—we’re so excited to announce the launch of our first-ever holiday jewelry collection today! In celebration of #GivingTuesday, we’re taking you behind-the-scenes and sharing with you how each piece is not only handcrafted, but helps to give opportunity to the women making it! In this season of “more more more”, we invite you to join us in giving better.
In light of giving better not more this Holiday season, we’ve focused on creating pieces that speak to both the lives of the wearer and the maker. Introducing the Nile Kitenge Capsule Collection!
It’s that time of year again! The holidays are nearly here. Can you believe it? This season, we’re focusing on giving better, not more. And we’ve put together a gift guide to make it easy for you to do the same! From the college student to the doting mom, we’ve put together meaningful gift ideas for all of the women on your list!
For the creator who sees what those around her may not see yet. She looks forward, and casts vision for herself and those around her.
There’s a community of women spread across the US that are changing the way women are empowered globally. By selling Sseko products and sharing the Sseko story, these women are earning an additional scholarship for the women on our team in Uganda! They’re called the Sseko Fellows, heard of them? One of our Sseko Fellows just hit Adventuress Status (that means she sold $10,000 worth of Sseko, in ONE month!) and she’s earned herself a FREE trip to Uganda to meet the team!
Steph Martin is a wife of 11 years to one amazing guy and a full time momma to two wonderful kids living in East Earl, Pennsylvania. She owns a hand lettering business on Etsy…and every once in awhile still plays hair stylist. And of course, she’s a Sseko Fellow!
Here at Sseko HQ, we have been gushing over all of the dream sandal possibilities, and our awesome team in Uganda is doing the same. With one week left for you to take advantage of the opportunity to design your own custom sandals through our Kickstarter, we decided we would let you take a little peek into the lives of some of our employees, and see some of the dream sandals they thought up!
Adrienne is our community manager at Sseko HQ, right in the heart of Portland. Here is her empowering design!
“My dream sandal is a sandal with a little sass. I love rich espresso leather and the leopard print! I wanted a sandal that I could dress up or down…and you CAN’T go wrong with a splash of leopard. DUH!”
That leopard print is exactly what we need to inspire us to live on the wild side, and the tassel clutch makes it even more fun! Don’t you agree?
Sylvia is one of our bright personalities at Sseko Uganda! She loves music, style, and believes in giving generously from whatever you have.
“I like those colors because they are bright. They’ll feel much better with my coloring. I’m excited to wear them, going out, or to the beach.”
She’s right, these would be the perfect beach sandals for the fashionista at heart!
Caro is in charge of our marketing, and the brains behind the Kickstarter. We are lucky this globetrotter landed with team Sseko!
“I take any chance I can to jet-set so I need a sandal that can keep up with my travels! I’ve worn my ribbon sandals on the steps of the Colosseum in Rome to the cobblestone streets of Charleston, SC, and I couldn’t imagine a more comfortable sandal for miles of walking! (Plus, they pack so easily for light travel.) So my dream sandal is this beautifully soft espresso leather ribbon sandal with a flat base and simple stitching. I really love the sleek, minimalist look! The best part is that they’re monogrammed with my initials—the “F” stands for Florence, named after the city in Italy!”
We absolutely LOVE how personal it feels to have your initials etched right into the kicks you rock every day!
Pheobe enjoys sewing, bright colors, and can be seen wearing her gold cross necklace, along with her Sseko’s.
“I don’t have that type of sandal, and they’re easy to put on. I picked red because it goes with most of the colors I’m putting on. It can go with black, it can go with blue. I’m going to wear them to church.”
A new sandal is always fun, especially with this bold red!
Bri is the fellow of all fellows. For all of her interests, from the her beloved fellows program to her plants, she has the perfect, versatile dream sandal!
“As an aspiring horticulturalist, my dream sandals needed to be simple and easily accessible to grab and go outside! Growing up on a farm, I was mostly barefoot, so I was drawn to the minimalist caramel leather flip flops for my garden adventures.”
By wearing these sandals, she is not only growing her plants, she is seeing the dreams of women in Uganda bloom as well!
Florence loves to cook yummy meals, bead jewelry, and rock these gorgeous flip flops.
“I don’t know, I just like this blue. I’m going to wear them to church.”
We can’t wait to see you rock these kicks, Florence!
Baylee is our graphic design and hand-lettering mastermind, so it’s no wonder that her dream sandal is one of the most creative we have seen.
“I’m in love with this new wrap sandal silhouette and with all these pretty leather colors, it’s hard to choose just one, so I went with the Ombre look! I’m looking forward to wearing these all summer. The colors are neutral enough to go with anything, and that touch of gold adds a little shine”
All of these leather colors are SOOOO gorgeous, I think we might be in love!
We hope that our dream sandals will give you a little peak into the women of Sseko, and inspire you to dream up your own custom sandals. So keep dreaming, and let us know what your dream sandal would be!
We’re over a week into the launch of our Kickstarter campaign, and we are almost 75% funded! On top of that, we were just selected as one of Kickstarter’s “Projects We Love”! Big things are happening, but we aren’t celebrating quite yet. We’ve still got $7k to go, and our new (ambitious) goal is to reach 100% funded by this weekend!! It may seem crazy, but we believe we can do it with the support of our community!
First of all, we want to give you a huge thanks (and a hug) to all of you for supporting us through this exciting new endeavor! So many of you have backed us so far, and we are very appreciative of you. If you have not backed our Kickstarter yet, it’s not too late, and YOU can be the one to help us reach our goal and increase our impact in Uganda! With that in mind, here are some things to think about as we approach the end of this campaign:
Kickstarter will have a huge impact on our team in Uganda, and that’s our #1 priority
For every $25 k we raise, we are able to employ two more full time women in Uganda! This means that by backing the Kickstarter, you are directly changing lives by providing employment and education for women who are going to influence the future of Uganda. Sseko has sent 71 women to university so far. If we get fully funded, or surpass our goal we will be able to continue empowering more women! Our ambition is to be a company that grows and expands while remaining true to the core values that have shaped us. Now that’s a reason to celebrate!
Aggie, the managing director at Sseko Uganda, wrote a letter to the Sseko community sharing her thoughts on the Kickstarter, which shows just how much of an impact it will have with our sisters overseas. The letter can be viewed below:
My name is Agnes; my Sseko family calls me Aggie. I joined Sseko as an Intern in 2010 but now I am working as the Managing Director in Uganda. Working with Sseko from 2010 to 2016 I have witnessed the tremendous benefits society gains when it gives every woman a chance to dream big.
Six years ago, we were a bunch of women making a few sandals to get by and struggling to send off only a few girls to University. Sseko has since grown from a group of ladies in a small house, to a rented warehouse, to now owning our own workshop!
The company has grown from being run by western expatriates to a full Ugandan management team. We have witnessed our fellow ladies grow from production workers to taking on more managerial roles.
Alongside this growth, we have expanded our production capacity and product line from making one sandal style to now offering Stitched ribbon sandals, Accent sandals, Crossover slides and Rue sandals! Despite the increase in the styles of sandals made, we continued to produce them in our own company custom leather shades/colors (ie caramel, espresso brown and black).
As the Sseko community craved for the different styles, something interesting happened….. we thought.. what would it be if our customers had the chance to design their own favorite Sseko sandals by pairing it with their favorite leather shades/color?
So this year we kickstarted the Design Your Dream Sandal project, and we now call upon your support to make the project successful. We believe this project would not only see our customers wear their favorite sandals, but it will also help Sseko expand its production capacity and we can do this by employing more women and thus sending more girls to University.
By supporting the customized sandal project, you become a part of what we at Sseko strive for: bringing a new hope, life and giving birth to dreams that were too far for us to reach, not because we could not, but because society made us think we couldn’t.
The test of a great company is whether it has the ability to constantly manage to grow its operations while being true to its mission and core values. It’s a challenge that we at Sseko Designs embrace, because we recognize that there’s always a bigger picture, a longer term horizon, and a broader world in which we operate—using our handmade products to connect to the world that seemed so far from us.
A loud shout-out to all our Sseko Community ie our esteemed customers, partners and well-wishers who have supported us through the years. Here at Sseko, we love and cherish what we do and admire your zeal to stand by us.
Get those custom sandals!
Now’s the time to get yourself a pair of custom Ssekos! Why now, you ask? Well… here are a few reasons:
- Better price: By getting your customizable sandals through Kickstarter, you will save $10-$15 or more per sandal. This is a once in a lifetime deal you are going to want to take advantage of!
- For now, this is your only chance: We will only be able to offer customizable sandals to the public if we see that they are successful and in high demand through are Kickstarter. By backing for the custom sandals now, you are showing us their popularity and we will be able to offer them on our website later on! (But there is no guarantee if we’re funded that we’ll be offering them site-wide later on.)
- Greater impact in Uganda: Like we mentioned earlier, the more money we raise through Kickstarter, the more women we will be able to employ and send to University.
- Become a trendsetter: By getting your custom sandals now, you will be the first among your friends and your community to rock your customizable kicks, showing everyone else how awesome they are!
Launch party fun!
If you were at the launch party, we want to give you a huge thank you for coming and for all the support we have felt! We could not succeed without amazing Fellows, supporters and customers who have bought into the Sseko story. If you were not able to make it to the launch party, we’ll give you a little re-cap.
After we launched the Kickstarter last Monday, we threw a launch party at Sseko HQ and invited all of our Portland friends. Before the party started, we were funded to roughly $12 K, so we set a goal of $13 K for the end of the party, and we hit that goal! That means $1,000 was pledged to the Kickstarter in just under two hours!
For our party guests, we had some fun elements going on! There was a Design Your Own Sandal bar, where you could see all of the steps of building a custom sandal and different custom sandal samples. We also had a sneak-peak display of our (#spoileralert) upcoming jewelry line, a fun hand stamp for those who pledged, as well as themed snacks, such as a “Design Your Dream Sandal (Cookie)” station, and THE COOLEST custom sandal donuts from our friends at Voodoo Donuts! We really felt the love at the event, so thank you again for coming by!
If you’d like to join us in making an even GREATER impact in Uganda, back our Kickstarter—and get a friend to join you as well! If you and your friend both pledge, we’ll give you BOTH free print of our Brave Manifesto. (Just make sure to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know!) So pledge to Kickstarter, get a friend to join you, and share about it with your community! We could not imagine going on this journey without you, thank you for joining us!
Here at Sseko, we’re dreaming about leading the next frontier of transparent and customizable fashion. Imagine designing a truly one of a kind sandal, perfectly suited to your lifestyle and aesthetic. Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? Well, it can soon be a reality. We’re dreaming about leading the next frontier of transparent and customizable fashion with Design Your Dream Sandal now LIVE on Kickstarter!
Inspired by the creativity and vision of our customers, we’ve decided to take it one step further: completely customizable sandals. Whether you’re looking for sandals for your next big adventure, a new everyday favorite, a sandal that steals the show or even the perfect custom kicks for you and your bridesmaids, you’ll be able to bring that vision to life.
Lover of humanity, travel and adventure, this lady has one of the biggest hearts we know! Laura Arbo exemplifies simple living—while always staying chic! We were excited to sit down with this Marketing Outreach Specialist for the next installment in our Buy Better Not More series.