Meet the Mamas by Technique

Seamstresses

The seamstresses of Global Mamas are talented dressmakers operating their own businesses in Cape Coast, Prampram, Ashaiman, and Akuse. Many of the Mamas continue to use hand-powered sewing machines. This not only preserves more traditional sewing, but is useful for working through the frequent power outages which are characteristic of West Africa. Many Mamas have learned this craft through structured classes, apprenticeships, or passed through families from previous generations.

Meet More Mamas
Gladys Oduro

Gladys Oduro was a seamstress for 10 years before joining Trashy Bags in 2008. She grew up in the Ashanti region of Ghana, near a city called Kumasi, but has now lived in Accra for more than 20 years. Times have been difficult for Gladys, as she is a single mother raising four children. In Ghana, children often work to contribute to the family, even at very young ages. However, her children all have a great desire to stay in school, and Gladys has done her best to ensure they do. She feels very lucky to work with Trashy Bags, predominantly due to her great relationship with her manager. No matter what kind of problems Gladys has, she feels very comfortable asking for assistance from him and knows he’ll do whatever he can to help her.

Meet More Mamas
Gloria Amanful

“To me prosperity, is achieving whatever you want to do in the future”

Meet Gloria: As a mother of a six years old girl, Gloria’s main happiness is to see her daughter healthy and successful. The stable income she has earned since working with Global Mamas has enabled her to add money to her daughter’s savings account. Indeed, she works hard to save for her daughter so that she is able to cover her university fees and become a nurse. She is one of the women behind the handsome boy shirts and beautiful pocket dresses. She is delighted to know that customers from all over the world are buying her products. Gloria appreciates their loyalty—it makes it possible for all of the Mamas to live a better life.Apart from sewing for Global Mamas, she sews uniforms for the University of Cape Coast.

As an ambitious woman, her dream is to open and manage her own clothing factory and keep developing as a seamstress and as an entrepreneur. She remarks: “I am proud of my work and proud of not begging from others.”

Meet More Mamas
Grace "Araba" Koufie

Grace “Araba” Koufie’s life is filled with activity—in her busy home, her busy workshop, and the busy open air market near where she lives in Cape Coast. Though she started her seamstress business several years before becoming a Mama, her partnership with Global Mamas allowed Grace to pay off debt and start saving. Now, she earns enough money to cover regular school fees and medical expenses as well as support family members in need. In her own words, "Global Mamas has helped me a lot. Before Global Mamas, I stayed at home doing nothing, but they have provided me with regular business and a regular income.” Grace dreams big—hoping to one day open a bigger shop for more employees and build a bigger home for her family.

Meet More Mamas
Grace Adoboe

Grace Adoboe had a winding path to her current occupation as a Cape Coast business owner and seamstress for Global Mamas. Grace was born in the Volta Region and lived in Togo for a decade before returning to Ghana to establish her shop in Accra. Now Grace is finally settled with her business and family in Cape Coast, where she acknowledges, “I am a busy lady.” This Mama’s main focus is school uniforms and her main priority is customer satisfaction, as she often sacrifices her personal time to get a job done and ensure it is done correctly. This strategy has paid off for Grace, and she explains that, “Global Mamas has helped a lot. With my income, I can help my family and my husband.”

Meet More Mamas
Hajeretu Ahmed

Growing up in Ayona-Swedru, Ghana, life was difficult for Hajeretu Ahmed. In Ayona-Swedru, Hajeretu worked as a seamstress, supporting both herself and her mother, who had large medical bills. In 2003, she went to live with her brother in Accra and began working as a maid for a family who only paid her enough for necessities and to visit her mother once a year. After a series of low-income jobs, she heard about Trashy Bags, and has now been working with the organization since 2007 as a seamstress. Her goal at the moment is to find out a way to get her mother’s medical condition fixed permanently. She hopes that by continuing to work with Trashy Bags, she can eventually reach this goal.

Meet More Mamas
Hannah Dodoo

“My prosperity is not only financial, but involves health, community, religion, family, and sharing. Sharing my prosperity makes me prosper.”

Meet Hannah: One of the six Ghanaian co-founders, Hannah has helped shape Global Mamas into the organization it is now. Hannah is a seamstress who creates styles from her broad range of experiences abroad. She draws on her knowledge from Ghana, America and Germany where she learned to sew in 1976. Six years after learning to sew, she opened a shop in Cape Coast where her family resides. When not working, Hannah enjoys scrapbooking and reminiscing over her time on business trips abroad. And while her business has brought her prosperity, she maintains that her comfort and well-being come from more than just her job.

“If I have ever achieved, it has been because I share my talents with others. When I share my talents, it makes me happy. So I share my happiness with others.”

Meet More Mamas
Hawa Mohammed

Though Hawa Mohammed is one of the youngest workers at Trashy Bags, she has quite a large amount of responsibility in her life. She currently lives with her stepmother in Accra, of whom she has been taking care since her father passed away in 2006. Hawa is also supporting her younger brothers and sisters who live in her hometown of Techiman, Ghana. They constantly tell her how much they miss her, but are grateful for the opportunity she received in starting at Trashy Bags. Hawa plans to work at Trashy Bags until she raises enough money to attend catering school. Her ultimate dream is to have her own restaurant someday. She appreciates both the wage she earns and the working conditions of Trashy Bags, but what she appreciates most is how everyone is treated like family rather than employees.

Meet More Mamas
Isabella Amoah Kwa

“I will be prosperous when I do not need anything, apart from needing God. To me, prosperity means living responsibly and happily.”

Meet Isabella: A seamstress that specializes in men’s fitted shirts, Isabella joined Global Mamas due to a friend’s recommendation. Since joining the organization, Isabella is very proud to be able to pay her rent while also sending her own daughter and her brother’s daughter to school. “I hope that my kids graduate school with flying colors to become prominent people,” she said. In her spare time, Isabella enjoys knitting, cooking banku (with extra spice!) and listening to gospel music. Self-described as “always happy,” Isabella is never without a laugh or a smile.

“Ghana is a great place. I feel proud that the things that I’ve done here in Ghana have reached so far around the world.”

Meet More Mamas
Issifu Asana

At the young age of 26, Issifu Asana became the manager of the sewing co-operative in Ho. Issifu, who is both Togolese and Ghanaian, attended trade school to learn to sew. She began working with the co-operative in June 2008, and had already been a seamstress for 3 years by the time she started. She used to work just for herself but found that working in the co-operative has provided more business, and she enjoys the companionship of everyone who works there! Issifu has spent most of her life in Ho, growing up with two brothers and three sisters. She has a twin sister who is a hairdresser and batiker. She currently lives by herself but often helps out her mother and father.

Meet More Mamas
Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson is a woman with a quiet voice but a loud heart. She learned how to sew in the small village where she was born. Recently, this hobby turned into a career when she teamed up with Global Mamas. Jennifer's husband passed away, leaving her to care for and support her three children. Jennifer recalls this time in her life and tearfully remembers, "Global Mamas has been the most important thing in my life, because they were the only ones to help me when my husband died. Global Mamas is a great company, because they help many women and they saved me. To me, Global Mamas means 'great mother'." Through Global Mamas Jennifer has learned about book-keeping, financial independence, and finance responsibility. These new skills, along with the orders she gets from Global Mamas, have nearly doubled Jennifer's income and has enabled her to dream of accomplishing even bigger things. Jennifer hopes to be a "big woman" who has multiple shops and is able to train others to be seamstresses. She also dreams of being able to buy a school so that she can provide children with a proper education without the burden of school fees. On the seldom occasion when Jennifer is not working, she enjoys singing songs and simply going to the seaside and watching the ocean.

Meet More Mamas
Joanna Minnow

Joanna Minnow has always used her talent to help others, beginning when she would make clothes for her friends and family as a young girl. When she started sewing as a career, Jennifer could barely afford her one sewing machine or the rent for her workspace, but then her friend introduced her to Global Mamas. Now that she works as a seamstress for Global Mamas, Joanna has her own apprentices, a handful of sewing machines and a weaving machine. Joanna is pleased not only with her successes but her ability to keep serving others. Joanna says that, “Global Mamas has provided me with plenty of work and regular income, allowing me to help the needy people in my church by providing them with food, clothes, and more. I love kids and I love to help them.”

Meet More Mamas
Justina Richmond

“I would see myself as prosperous when I own my house and my own tailoring shop.”

Meet Justina: A seamstress who loves to make aprons and potholders, Justina learned to sew from her mother, with whom she apprenticed before being recruited by Global Mamas. During her apprenticeship, Global Mamas came to her mother’s shop and recruited Justina. As she continues to learn new techniques, Justina dreams of one day owning her own shop. Justina spends her weekends singing at her church and teaching young children traditional African dances. Their dance troupe travels around West Africa and hopes to make their first international trip to Greece.

“I would like to thank our Global Mamas customers very much. They buy our products, which allows us to keep working and learning new skills.”

Meet More Mamas
Matilda Mills

Matilda became a seamstress because she wanted to express her independent style. She joined Global Mamas in January 2010, after founding her business two years before. Matilda now employs one worker and two apprentices. With the income she earns from her dressmaking shop she supports her parents and five siblings. Matilda enjoys singing in her free time. She dreams of being a "big woman" someday with her own car and house.

Meet More Mamas
Molly Linda Djan

A step into Molly Djan’s apartment block and it reveals the organized chaos of her life as a Global Mama. Several sewing machines whir through patterned dresess and reversible aprons while an apprentice irons finished work and friends stop by to say hello. Molly is busy all day in Cape Coast while she fills orders, manages her current employees, and trains new ones; she is busy on the weekends too when she travels an hour and a half to visit her family in Winneba. This activity energizes Molly, as she tells us “I am proud of my work and giving my niece the opportunity to go to university.”

Meet More Mamas
Olivia Apenuvor

In 2007, Olivia decided to make some changes in her life. She had been working at a roofing tile factory, and while the pay was decent, the working conditions were difficult. When she heard about Trashy Bags, she felt it was the perfect opportunity work as a seamstress, a trade she actually enjoys. She has come to appreciate so many things about working at Trashy Bags, where she has been employed since 2008. On top of the wage she receives, she is also given a stipend towards transportation to and from work. While her daughter, Divine, lives in the city of Kumasi with her uncle, Olivia was able to save enough money to move into her own place with her younger daughter Francesca.

Meet More Mamas
Philomena Stephens

Philomina Stephens enjoys her work as a seamstress and shop owner, but what she loves about being a Mamas is knowing that the products she sews travel all over the world. It means a lot to Philomina that her name is written on the tags of the clothing she works so hard to sew. Realizing this tag also makes her accountable for her products, Philomina demands high standards from herself and from her employees. These standards have brought her a growing client base and the opportunity to open her own shop, as she says, “Global Mamas has helped a lot. Income is good from Global Mamas.”

Meet More Mamas
Regina Abbey

“Prosperity means being able to go back to school to finish my education—even get a bachelor’s degree. It also means being able to own a house and send my children to schools abroad.”

Meet Regina: a mother of four, Regina’s seamstress skills have enabled her to earn enough money to purchase a home. Much of her energy is focused on her family, as Ghanaians are required to pay tuition to send their children to primary and secondary school. With one daughter away at boarding school and her eldest considering studying to be a car mechanic, seeing her children excel has given Regina a renewed curiosity about her own education. “When my children are grown and gone I will go back to school. I’d like to take many different classes, just to see what I like!”

“My hope is for all my children to make their way in the world with choices and independence.”

Meet More Mamas
Risi Kafu Yalaya

After 25 years of living in Nigeria, Risi Kafu Yalaya came back to Ghana, her home country, with her two children and a bag of their belongings. She had built a life in Nigeria, but after the death of her husband, she knew things would be easier back in Ghana. Risi started selling cosmetics by the roadside to support her family, but due to competition, business was quite difficult. She had taught herself to sew in Nigeria, so when she heard about a job at Trashy Bags, she was determined to get it. She joined Trashy Bags in 2007 and quickly took on a mentoring role, teaching some of the other employees how to sew so they could be promoted. Her children, Fatima and Rofia, attend Medina Islamic School, and in order to pay the school fees, Risi was able to take out a loan from Trashy Bags. She is paying it back with each paycheck. Risi loves the work she does at Trashy Bags and prays every day for its continued success.

Meet More Mamas
Roseline Quartey

“Prosperity means being able to purchase the things my family needs to live.”

Meet Roseline: Roseline has been a seamstress since she finished fashion school. She lives near the Global Mamas Ashaiman office and would often see an employee, Maria, walking to work. She stopped Maria one day to find out where she worked and heard about Global Mamas. Later that week, Roseline brought in samples of her work and was hired. Roseline enjoys working with her fellow seamstresses and batikers and notes that “our teamwork is excellent.” She and her husband are saving money to build a house to live in with their three children. Roseline has big dreams for her children, saying “I want my kids to go very far in their education. My daughter wants to be a doctor. She's the best student in her class.”

To the women around the world wearing her products, Roseline says, “We are trying hard to do good; we hope you appreciate our work!”

Meet More Mamas
Sabina Efua Atta Assimoku

Sabina Assimoku is a good listener with a gentle and confident manner, traits that make her both a good mother and a successful business owner. Though she started sewing more than five years before joining Global Mamas, Sabina was able to increase her income, rent a workshop, and hire employees after becoming a Mama. Sabina is grateful that Global Mamas helps her business as well as her family, allowing her a paid maternity leave and providing her the salary she uses to pay school fees. In the future, Sabina wants to expand even further, but for now she looks lovingly at her baby son as she reflects, "Global Mamas has changed my life a lot. Global Mamas has improved my financial situation a lot."

Meet More Mamas
Sabina Hasford

“The key to prosperity is letting everything go and being cordial with people. When you do this, you will help others more than you will ever know.”

Meet Sabina: A seamstress since 1975, Sabina learned to sew from her mother. After learning to sew, Sabina worked as the secretary for the Minister of Health in the Western Region of Ghana. During her time as a secretary, Sabina never stopped sewing. In 2008, Sabina joined Global Mamas with the help of a Peace Corps volunteer. She now designs custom clothing targeting tourists. Sabina draws inspiration from American films, carefully observing what popular actors are wearing in movies and replicating these outfits as best she can. Sabina’s proudest achievement since joining Global Mamas is that women around the world wear her clothing.

“It makes me very proud that women from all over visit me at my shop and say, ‘Wow! You are Sabina! You’re clothing makes me very, very happy.’”

Meet More Mamas
Sarah "Adwoa" Aggrey

Sarah Aggrey plans for the future with each decision she makes, and is grateful to see her pragmatism pay off. Sarah took up sewing almost 20 years ago because she believe it would provide her with a secure source of income, but when she found herself with sole responsibility for her daughter, she needed a new plan. After hearing about Global Mamas, Sarah decided it would be in her best interest to join. Since then, Global Mamas has enabled Sarah to expand her business, support herself, and help her daughter pay for school. “I am proud to be able to send my daughter to nursing school,” she says.

Meet More Mamas
Sarah Adjei

“I will know I have achieved prosperity when I can build a house on my land. I know Global Mamas will help me to get the money I need.”

Meet Sarah: A seamstress, Sarah first heard about Global Mamas when helping her friend and fellow Mama batik new product designs. Since becoming a Mama herself, Sarah has earned enough money through her Global Mamas orders to put her three children through university and to expand her seamstress shop by purchasing extra machines and training apprentices. Any volunteers who stay with her are greeted with a big smile and an open heart. Teaching the volunteers how to wash laundry and make local foods are experiences she says she will never forget. When not working, Sarah listens to Gospel music and dreams of the house she will one day build on her land.

To everyone around the world wearing her products, Sarah says, “I would tell my customers I am happy now because of Global Mamas. Now I can support myself because I have too become a somebody.”

Meet More Mamas
Suwaiba Alhassen

From her Trashy Bags wages, Suwaiba Alhassen sends money each month to her mother, a plantain vendor. With a strict savings plan in place, she’s also working towards one day attending nursing school. She was pleased that her initial wage at Trashy Bags was more than her previous profession as a housekeeper, and partway through her first year at Trashy Bags, she was promoted from cutting and washing the bags to her current position. She is currently working towards another promotion to seamstress, with the help of fellow Mama Risi Kafu Yalaya teaching her to sew.

Meet More Mamas
Theresa Mensah

Theresa joined Global Mamas in 2009. After completing a one year apprenticeship, she was able to open her own dressmaking shop. Theresa is a wife and a mother of three girls who are all in school. With money she has earned since joining Global Mamas, she fixed her broken sewing machine and bought a television and DVD player for her family. She enjoys cooking and being with her family in her free time. She hopes in the future to be able to buy her own apartment and to be able to buy new clothes for herself.

Meet More Mamas
Veronica Amanor

“Prosperity means you’ve achieved something, like skills and the ability to support yourself.”

Meet Veronica: Seamstress Veronica went to a three-year sewing program at a vocational school and started working at Global Mamas soon after. She also apprenticed under an established seamstress and hopes to one day pass on the favor by owning her own shop and training apprentices. Veronica’s favorite Global Mamas product is the Emi dress. When she’s not at work, Veronica helps her sister Gertrude with her batiking business; Gertrude is using her profits to put herself through school. Veronica also enjoys singing in her church’s choir and cooking her favorite dish, okra stew.

To the women around the world wearing her products, Veronica says, “Keep on buying our products and tell your friends!”

Meet More Mamas
Veronica Anim

Veronica Anim knew from a young age that she wanted to become a seamstress—and has now been a seamstress for ten years. Her original customer base came to her shop and requested products; she is happy to say she can sew anything. Joining Global Mamas in 2007, she says, gave her the right amount of work. Now, Veronica works primarily for Global Mamas, but when she has time, continues to do work for her own customers. Working for Global Mamas has enabled Veronica to send her four children to school and keep them healthy. She has also expanded her shop to hire another employee and take on an apprentice. It is exciting, she says, “that people in other parts of the world are buying and wearing my clothing.” Thinking to the future, Veronica would like her business to grow to where she could hire more employees, as well as buy land, build a home, and raise her children there.

Meet More Mamas
Vida Donkoh

Vida Donkoh has always been a self-starter, choosing by herself to start a career as a seamstress before working on her own. When she struggled to pay her bills, Vida’s sister suggested that Global Mamas could help her gain financial independence like they have for so many other women. Since following this advice, Vida is now making enough money to save for her dreams and child's future education. Her favorite part about this partnership is working with good and trustworthy people, along with the satisfaction of the finished product. “Global Mamas has helped me a lot and made me happy.” She says, “The income earned is good and steady, and I like the way Global Mamas staff talks with me.”

Meet More Mamas
Shopping Cart