The dream continues

Last Friday we shuttled around rural Malindi visiting two graduates of the Heri Sewing College. I am still waiting on photos to upload so I will hold off on the details of the visit until we have visuals. Needless to say it was incredibly inspiring to see a domestic skill like sewing be so empowering to women. (take that feminists!)

On Saturday I was invited to a wedding and even though enduring a two hour catholic ceremony is a bleak glimpse of the eternity the bride and groom are promising each other, hymns have never sounded so damn lively. If there’s one takeaway for me it is that I too plan to boogie down the aisle. Americans have it all wrong. As the only white guest at the wedding I immediately felt all the stares and it occurred to me that a lot of these kids have probably never seen anyone so fair before. I think they genuinely thought they were encountering a ghost. 

The reception was a riot. Every time the bride and groom got up a crowd assembled behind them and a beat seemed to drop from the heavens. The entire herd moved together like a flash mob doing the hustle. 


Sunday was spent at the spectacular turquoise waters of the marine park. As an avocado-loving, California grown woman sunshine and saltwater is the only proper way to recharge. Also, reading The Book of Joy is better than Prozac. It’s my third time reading it and I can not recommend it enough!


Today was just wonderful in every way. I was back sewing with my girls. We cranked out another jumpsuit in the morning (photos below). They wanted to know more about photography so I gave them my camera and a quick lesson. I did not get my camera back until the end of the day, they were hooked. In the afternoon I had each girl sketch their own design and the whole place echoed with their laughter. You have about 23 hours to check out our Instagram story ( and hear for yourself, it’s healing. I’m so proud of all the work they have completed and can’t wait to show the collection on such a prestigious platform. 

We only have two more jumpsuits to complete and the rest of this week will be dedicated to making their own designs! We are trying to coordinate a little fashion show before I leave next week. 

Before begrudgingly leaving I plan to make a pattern for the Hoodwinker featuring flowing pant legs rather than the tapered version we sell online. If we can figure out quality control and distribution while I am here we will offer this design in traditional African prints on our website and the girls will be paid for their work. Comment below if you’re a fan of the design!

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Shannon AshfordComment