Abby Smith, Marketing Volunteer
Global Mamas is a creative community at its very core. The design competition began in 2007, as an effort to always focus on those roots and keep us all challenged in our creativity and ingenuity. This event provides the perfect venue for members of the Global Mamas family, outside the design team, to bring their fresh ideas forward. The tradition has continued each year, and more often than not, winning submissions are put into production for the catalog. The new Atiwa print for 2018? Design competition winner. The Frontier Bag that gets your stuff from A to B? Design competition winner. Unity print? Keepsake print? The Button Baskets? You guessed it—all design competition winners.
Continuing the Tradition
In previous years the design competition was limited to the producers and staff in Cape Coast, because that is where our design team is based. But, our teammates at other locations have been asking to participate and the the improved internet it has become much easier to open up the competition to be organization wide. As a result this year Mamas in Cape Coast, Ashaiman, and Accra submitted ideas for new batik and sewn items, while Mamas in Krobo developed new jewelry and ornament samples.
Contestants had no limit to the number of submissions and were given one month to ideate and create. To help participants develop products in line with international trends, summer volunteers researched and presented global fashion trends for upcoming seasons. This year many entries were inspired by this trend research, resulting in lots of bows and ruffles on submissions…as well as bright and bold patterns!
Hannah Dodoo, one of the six founding Mamas, is a regular participant and her submissions have won on several occasions. This year she submitted six pieces and cites the competition as a driving force for innovation and creativity. “My favorite part about the competition is that it encourages me to create new things,” Hannah says.
Blue Ribbon Winners
Judging the competition this year proved difficult for our design team. We had 22 batik submissions, 11 sewing submissions, and over 20 bead submissions. We asked our Instagram followers to help us choose a batik submission to be dubbed our “Fan Favorite” winner. Over 200 people voted and chose Christina Pufaba’s ‘Stripes’ pattern as their favorite batik! The outcome was 11 prize winners. Each award includes a certificate and a monetary prize; the items are also then considered for inclusion in our Ghana stores and our wholesale catalog. Next year, we hope even more Mamas and staff will participate and that the design competition will be one of many outlets for creative expression throughout the organization.
Here are our winners with their designs this year!
Josephine Anakwah, Batik Winner (100 Ghs Prize)
Grace Osabutey, Batik Runner Up (50 Ghs Prize)
Christina Pufaba Batik Fan Favorite (25 Ghs Prize)