Sseko Designs started in Uganda with four women under a mango tree making leather sandals with interchangeable straps. Mary, Mercy, Rebecca and myself. We were impossibly naive and hopeful about the future and the impact that a single girl and pair of sandals could make in her community and our world.
Meet Shanda, a woman powerhouse, who used Sseko to control her life and put her family first. Hear her story of how her life took a 180-degree turn for freedom and flexibility…
Recently, I have been reflecting back to June 2017. This was one of the hardest months of my life. After a bout of sickness, my youngest son Matteo, was diagnosed with epilepsy caused by fevers and overheating. News no parent ever wants to hear. I was fearful of not only his safety but what my life would now look like because of this change.
Meet Rashidah, one of the bright young women working at Sseko Uganda during her gap year between high school and college. At the end of her 9-month employment at Sseko, she’ll receive a scholarship matching every dollar she’s saved. Because of this, she’ll be able to fulfill her dream of attending college! Hear from Rashidah herself…
I have a humble background. My father passed away when I was very young, and I was raised by a single mother. I am the third of five children. We moved many times. My oldest brother just graduated college, the second oldest brother is in college, and I am going to college this year. I am very assured that I will go to college because of the scholarship Sseko is providing for me.
Although I’ve always loved a good life hack, being a mama of a BUSY toddler (and his soon to be little brother!) has made me a FOOL for anything that can save a little time, energy or sanity.
To be honest, I’ve never had a strong loyalty to a specific line of baby products. I’m more like a once I get particularly desperate I’ll run to Target while likely multitasking on a conference call and shove something that looks remotely like what I need into the cart kinda mom. WHATEVER WORKS.
Last month, eleven Sseko Fellows had the opportunity to travel to Uganda and visit Sseko’s workshop, meet women who are creating our products, and see firsthand the impact of their work as Sseko Fellows.
One of our key tenets at Sseko Designs is “Ask hard questions.”
We welcome tough conversations with open arms! One conversation that we feel is important to jump into is that around the MLM (Multi-Level Marketing a.k.a. Direct Sales) business model.
Did you know that Sseko Designs is an MLM business? We weren’t always structured this way, but over the past few years we’ve made an intentional shift to sell products through our community of Sseko Fellows. As we dove into this sustainable business, we worked hard (and continue to work hard!) to create a model that is ethical and empowering every step of the way – for every woman involved, from those who create our products to those who sell them.
“But wait… isn’t an MLM a pyramid scheme?”
This season we’re focusing on brave women that inspire us. One of those women is named Chandra Fredrick, and we are SO excited to introduce you to her.
Here at Sseko we deeply believe that every great journey begins with a small step. The Sseko Fellows are a tribe of women that have embarked on such a journey to create opportunity and community for women here in the states, as well as for our sisters in East Africa. One of those Fellows, Cassie Fussle, recently took a step into our Fellows community. This is her New Beginnings story!