I met Susan when we were both young women embarking on BIG adventures. I was in the early years of starting and launching Sseko and Susan was graduating from high school with big dreams about university and becoming a leader in her community. I distinctly remember sitting with her on the sandal production line while she diligently learned the manufacturing process while somehow managing to ask great questions and laugh loudly as she worked. Susan’s family moved to Uganda as Rwandan refugees during the Rwandan genocide. Although Susan’s story involves trauma and heartache, when I met Susan, I immediately knew she was going to be a game changer. I’m not quite sure there is a more powerful force than woman who’s heart has been broken wide open only to spill out with hope and fire about a better tomorrow. A few months ago while in Uganda, I was able to catch up with Susan. As we drank fresh juice (#ugandaperks!) at the coffee shop near her home, her vibrant and smart-as-a-whip daughter ran circles around our table and we immediately dove in to sharing stories about motherhood and the entrepreneur life. (#treplife) As you’ll see in this video, not only is Susan thriving and supporting herself, but she’s investing her resources back into her community, creating jobs and singlehandedly making sure her that her little sister follows her lead and graduates from college.
If you’re a customer of Sseko, if you’ve ever hosted a trunk show or, of course, if you’re a Sseko Fellow, I hope you know that your story is wound up with hers and that your impact matters. Whether you’ve bought or sole one pair of sandals or 1,000, we’re so grateful to partner with you to co-create the world we want to live in. How nuts is it that by building an elevated wardrobe you love, you are partnering with women like Susan who are making the world brighter and more just, every day? That’s what we call a win/win.