We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Sophia Bush to introduce you to our new Travel Collection! This summer, we had the opportunity to host this actress and activist at the Sseko workshop in Uganda. A long-time advocate of both educational rights for girls and conscious consumerism, we knew from the get-go that Sophia was a Sseko-spirit. With a style that is eclectic and impossibly chic, she embodies everything we envisioned when we designed this newest collection: wanderlust, class, fearlessness…and as always, a little bit of Sseko sass!
Here’s a peek behind-the-scenes at the design of our newest collection and deets on Sophia’s visit to Uganda!
Introducing the Travel Collection
Featuring Sophia Bush
Needless to say, Sophia Bush is the ultimate jet-setter! Hopping from city to city (LA! New York! Chicago!) and from country to country, she’s always on the move–but she doesn’t want to sacrifice form or function – even when she is on the go.
During her trip to Uganda, she couldn’t get enough of our versatile, quality and stunning goods. From waterfall hikes to exploring Jinja’s lush tea-fields to an adventurous Safari up north it was so fun to see our products ‘in the wild’ looking just as we always imagined them.
The Sseko Travel Collection (composed of three large bags, a crossbody clutch, a computer case and an iPad case) has been two years in the works. Every time I see a beautifully designed and crafted travel piece, it ignites a spark of wanderlust and curiosity. I see a stunning bag and I find myself standing in a train-station wondering, “Who is that woman? Where is she going and what are the stories of adventure that bag will be privy to?”
I’ve been doodling and sketching out my dream luggage for years, but I’ve been patient to make sure we had what we needed in place to make the highest quality, most stunning collection I could imagine. We travelled all over East Africa to find the highest quality leathers and the master craftsmen (and women!) who could expertly bring this collection to life.
The Sseko Travel Collection uses natural-toned leathers that evoke a sense of quality and timelessness. Inspired by vintage designs, my hope is that when you carry these bags, it’s almost impossible not to imagine yourself standing next to Humphrey Bogart in the airplane hanger in Casablanca.
Every single piece in this collection is made from the highest quality leather on the continent and takes our expert artisans several days to craft by hand. Each piece of leather is hand-picked for quality and beauty, every stitch has been labored over and every detail was crafted with love and attention. Each piece reflects the slight differences of the natural materials they’re created from and are truly one of a kind. And they’ll only become more beautiful with age and the stories that emerge from a life well lived.
When you invest in a piece from the Sseko Travel Collection, you’re investing in a piece that we hope will join you for decades of adventure. We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Sophia Bush to introduce you to this collection. We hope you love the collection as much as we do and we’re crossing our fingers that we’ll see you on the open road.
BEHIND THE SCENES:
Sophia Bush Visits Sseko Uganda
When Sophia visited in June, she traveled with her best gal-pal Babs Burchfield and adventured all throughout the land we love (Safari! The Nile! The street markets of Kampala!). They not only experienced the natural beauty of Uganda, but were also changed by the hospitality, curiosity, joy, strength and sassiness of the Sseko women.
Sophia joined us for a day at the workshop. We kicked off our day together by sharing a meal with one another. This is where we take off our work aprons and just spend time with one another. There is always laughter and loud conversation and the sharing of food and tea and life. Sophia joined us and we gave our team the opportunity to ask her questions.
Questions ranged from “what was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to pursue your dream of becoming an actress?” to “what is the state of women in your society?” to “what are you afraid of and how to do you overcome your fears?” Sophia shared her own story and encouraged, inspired and challenged our team.
Next we gave Sophia a tour of our workshop and taught Sophia how to make her very own pair of T-Strap sandals! Each team-member showed her in detail the level of precision and accuracy and craft that is involved in the creation of every single piece we make here at Sseko. (She was particularly in awe of the sandal finishing process!)
The day also included some standard Friday Zumba (yeah, Zumba! Because who wants shoes made at a workshop that doesn’t Zumba?!) and joined in on a party where we celebrated the birth of a new Sseko babe!
Lastly, but certainly not least, we spent some time with Sophia and Babs…. designing some insane new products together!! (Coming soon….!) And we were able to photograph Sophia at a vintage airplane hanger with her absolute favorite pieces in the new Fall 2015 line. We couldn’t think of a more perfect setting or person to illustrate the sophistication, class and wonder of the Sseko Travel Collection.
The next day, we gathered all of our University-bound women (including Sseko Alumni!) and we went out to the place where it all started…the Girls’ Leadership Academy.
People, there are few places on earth I love as much as this place. Fifty bright, bold and brave young women from all over the country, coming together to learn and grow and love. It’s really magical and it made my heart burst with joy to share with new friends!
We sung and we danced and we listened while current students and Sseko graduates shared about what Sseko means to them. They shared about what it means to be a woman in Uganda. And they shared their vision for their own lives and futures and for the future of Uganda and women everywhere. (Also, Nancy from our class of 2014 gave a speech AND DROPPED THE MIC. Hellllloooo future president of Uganda!)
Every time I looked over at Sophia and Babs, there were tears streaming down their cheeks. While in the presence of these young women, it’s pretty impossible to not be stirred deep in your soul. It was that very same stirring that was the spark that lit the Sseko fire under a mango tree on that school campus six years ago.
We couldn’t be more grateful that Sophia took the time out of her insanely busy schedule to come to Uganda and spend time with our Sseko family. She is using her platform to bring awareness to ethical fashion and the state of women and girls across the globe and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with her in this adventure!
Until next time….