What does the world of fashion look like on the other side of the globe?
How can a small fashion-based business in Detroit get a foothold in Africa half a world away, import unique textiles and products and increase business?
On Wednesday March 17, from 12:30-1:30 p.m., you can learn the answers to those questions and more when Love Travels Imports owner Yvette Jenkins speaks with Jacqueline Shaw, founder of African Fashion Guide Ltd., during her monthly Wednesday Instagram Live Series.
Click here to tune in.
The Love Travels series has become a way to gain knowledge about the world of international garments, while also keeping the store’s community engaged and helping small businesses and start-ups move forward.
“As a Detroit women-owned business, we are excited to bring this London-based creative powerhouse to our audience,” says Jenkins.
During the conversation Shaw will give tips on how small businesses here can work with sister small businesses in Africa. Her goal is to help creative entrepreneurs start and build a sustainable fashion business in Africa and help them export their products.
“My mission is to open the African opportunity to you; to help you to reimagine your supply-chain; to interpret centuries old textile traditions and techniques and overall to produce socially, environmentally, sustainable and desirable product that ultimately impacts communities around the African continent,” she says on her website.
Specifically, Shaw helps both new and established companies find sustainable solutions. She offers a free four-part course on how to navigate Africa’s fashion and textile supply chain. Those interested can register here.
“There is a lot of talent there (in Africa),” says Jenkins.
A native of Jamaica with an African heritage, Shaw has 16 years of experience in the global fashion industry living and working in four countries (Turkey, China, Germany and England) over four continents (USA/Europe/Asia and Africa) for international brands and retailers including Puma, C&A, Animal, Russell Athletic, Wilson and Fila.
She created the Africa Fashion Guide, which tells people about the realities of the African fashion textile industry and clears up misconceptions.
A fashion designer by trade, Shaw got the information for the guide advising companies like Puma, C&A, Animal, Russell Athletic, Wilson and Fila, across four continents.
The guide is the only sourcing consultancy and information-based platform that promotes the full supply chain of the African fashion and textile industry to the greater global textile industry. It has become a key tool that educates, informs and retunes the perceptions of Africa’s fashion and textile industry – an industry Shaw sees as a vehicle for trade and development.
Her goal is to demystify a region she views as full of potential for trade and development.
“The thing is to be aware of where to go and work with the right people,” says Jenkins. “That is what she offers to entrepreneurs.”
Shaw has become a lecturer speaking across the globe, including at the House of Lords London, London Eye, European Commission Brussels, Fashion Institute Technology NYC and Who’s Next Paris among other places. She also served as an ambassador for the Ethical African fashion landscape.
From London Fashion week to Instagram Live chats, Shaw champions African fashion and believes Africa is fashion’s future.
Her African fashion t-shirt campaign used organic African cotton tees made in Africa by Africans to spread the message on the catwalks of London Fashion Week to Ghana to Los Angeles. Jenkins sold the shirts in her store when they were available.
Shaw’s goal is to help as many people as possible set up businesses in Africa to build trade, contribute to Africa’s GDP, and impact thousands of African lives using the vehicle of Fashion.
For a quick look at Shaw’s mission take a look at her interview on BBC.
The bottom line is – Africa is open for business.
Love Travels Imports, located at located at 19452 Livernois on the Avenue of Fashion in Detroit, sells fair trade, handcrafted work of artisans around the world.