Stories from the Mamas

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Interview by batik designer Nick Ruffalo. Cape Coast Ghana, April 2020. “My name is Martha. I have been working as a batiker for Global Mamas for 9 years. When I first got into home-sciences, I was a seamstress. A lady came in wanting me to sew something for her; I […]

Martha

Our annual Design Competition began in 2007 as a way to generate new product ideas. With so many talented makers involved in our organization we wanted to provide the opportunity to participate for any Mama or staff member interested in sharing their creative input. Each year winning designs are included

Batiker GlobalMamas Dorcas

When Global Mamas brings new Mamas into the ‘family’, we take the commitment seriously. This means we hire with intention and only when we know we have the capacity to offer long-term, regular work for a new partner. During Fashion Revolution week we wanted to introduce Dorcas Quianoo, one of

Developing the Moringa Filtration System

Alice Grau, Creative Director Photo Credit: Nick Ruffalo, Designer Each of our collections originates from trend research– anticipating how everything from high-fashion to streetwear trends will influence the clothes our customers might wish to buy in future seasons. We love getting creative with the shape, color, and prints of our

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Amelia Brandt, volunteer Happy Fair Trade Month from all of us at Global Mamas! For us, Fair Trade Month is all about celebrating our accomplishments, especially those that exemplify the heart behind our values as a fair trade organization. For example, one of our values is as follows: “We are

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Portion of speech made by Kristin Johnson honoring Emma Myers, Global Mamas Co-Founder During our time together you are NOT going to hear a story of how charity changed lives. Instead, you are going to hear how a group of African women came together to create their own success –

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Madison Oeff, intern Our Global Mamas annual Design Competition took place throughout the month of June in Cape Coast, and it was a huge success. Sharing their personal style and talent, the Cape Coast Mamas could submit as many of their own designs as they had time to produce. At

Eli Kpotorfe – A Very Special Ingredient

Since 2008, Mary Koomson has been a valued member of the Global Mamas batiking team. Mary’s passion for her work is not only evidenced in the 12 years she has spent perfecting her skills but also in the smile that spreads across her face as she discusses overcoming the challenges associated with her trade.

Krobo’s Global Mamas – Photo by Desirae Early

When our newest Global Mama, Ellen Eshun, gives Fante lessons to volunteers, she always starts by introducing herself as Abba atta Panyin. As she speaks you can see a small smile emerge from a normally serious face, and her chin lifts up a little.

Eli Kpotorfe – A Very Special Ingredient

Batikers, although most certainly artists, are first chemists; they orchestrate chemical reactions, envisioning colors into being. A plastic tub is her laboratory, hydrosulfate, caustic soda, water and salt her elements.

Two Ajumako producers modeling their braided necklace samples

Esther Gyepi-Garbrah is no ordinary seamstress- she is an exceptional woman with an exceptional story. She was invited to speak at the Fair Trade Federation annual conference held in Quincy, Massachusetts this September.

Eli Kpotorfe – A Very Special Ingredient

Elizabeth “Eli” Kpotorfe is not a seamstress nor is she a batiker, but she is certainly one of the most esteemed members in the Global Mamas community. In a more unconventional way, she has asserted herself as a “Mama” through her cooking. Global Mamas volunteers from Cape Coast have been frequenting EliMax’s Spot for six years now and for good reason.

A customer shops at the Global Mamas’ Second Saturday sale in Minneapolis, MN.

Since its inception, Global Mamas has created over 250 new jobs in Ghana by helping women-owned businesses expand their operations. One of the most exciting aspects of this growth is seeing individuals develop with the organization.

A customer shops at the Global Mamas’ Second Saturday sale in Minneapolis, MN.

For several years Global Mamas has been offering a handful of half-day cultural workshops in Cape Coast for around US$15.00: Batiking, Drumming/Dancing, Fishing Village Excursion, Ghanaian Cuisine, and Traditional Head Wrapping & Beauty.

Helping Hand from Customers

Andrea interviewed Dorcas Baiden, Quality Control Manager, about her role, a typical day, and what she enjoys most at Global Mamas. Dorcas taught pattern making, sewing, handicrafts, and batiking at a vocational school in Tema before joining Global Mamas in 2006.

Helping Hand from Customers

In early 2008 Sandra Crismon from Just Creations, a US customer, joined Global Mamas in Ghana to volunteer and assist in developing new bead products. Gayle Pescud interviewed Sandra via email.

Traveling the Distance for Quality

Julie has been batiking for nine years and became a member of Global Mamas three years ago. She went to batiking school in 1999 for six months while raising three children. Julie prides herself as being a mother first and a batiker second.

Roundtable Discussion Highlights 2005 Successes

Marian almost gave up on her batik shop when a thief broke in a few years ago and stole most of her hard-earned equipment. She soon found, however, that without her shop, she was struggling to support her adopted daughter. So when she heard about Global Mamas, Marian decided to return to batiking.

Global Mamas Handcrafting Website

In February, Global Mamas batikers Elizabeth Ampiah and Emma Myers moved their Eli-Emma Batik and Tye-Dye business to a spectacular new beachside location just steps from the Cape Coast Castle.

Gifty Saah: Giftex Impex

Wright’s husband is currently living in Nigeria. Left alone and with the responsibility of caring for three young children, Lydia is working hard to earn enough income to support herself and her family. Lydia has found it difficult to make ends meet year-round because her orders peak during the holiday

Gifty Saah: Giftex Impex

Gifty Saah started her career as a teacher, but lost her job when her family was evicted from their home in1997. When her family (husband and two children) found a new residence, she was unable to find a suitable job, so she began rejuvenating used t-shirts with bright batik and tie-dye designs for tourists.

Global Mamas Handcrafting Website

In March, WIP accepted two new seamstresses, Charlotte Bart-Plange and Hannah “Mansa” Darbah. The women were selected through an application process agreed upon by the WIP members at their February meeting.

Elisabeth receives her diploma from Beth.

It is good for a man and a woman to get married and have children because a man cannot stay alone, and neither can a woman. Marriage is a living creature, something we consider natural.

Melanie Popowich - We miss you...

Rita Cobbald, 23, the youngest Global Mamas seamstress, opened her own store in October. The new Rita’s Designs location stands on busy Master Sam Road, north of Cape Coast’s Kotokuraba Market. The store has helped Rita gain more customers as well as increased confidence in her business.

Elisabeth receives her diploma from Beth.

Nothing comes on a silver platter regarding emerging as or being a successful woman. There are many significant and pertinent key words that lead to a tremendous number of women becoming successful.

Elisabeth receives her diploma from Beth.

On May 6, eight women entrepreneurs received their diplomas signifying completion of their Women in Progress’ computer training class.

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