Saturday, May 17, 2014

African Attire for Traditionally Built Women

Not long ago, I told you about the workshop that the Bitengye Designers had with Alice, learning how to make dresses as well as jackets, aprons and yoga mat bags. The shipment containing all these items arrived this week, and some friends offered to model some of them for you. The dresses are either a straight cut with short sleeves and rounded neck, or "butterfly design", in which the sleeves are fashioned from fabric at the side of the garment. Joyanne and Hennie (photos 1 and 2) model the straight cut design, while Anne (photo 3) models the "butterfly dress". Nerissa and Jessie are our models for the jackets, based on a Japanese "Happi coat" design. Lastly there is Anne, modeling one of the very popular aprons.
This weekend the Comox Valley Schoolhouse Quilt Guild is holding a Quilt Show in Cumberland, and yes, we have a booth there. In addition to dresses and jackets and aprons, we're selling many of the other items made by the Bitengye Designers. And this is our challenge. We need to find ways to get the amazing times they make out there where the public can see them (and buy
them). Business acumen and marketing are not my strengths, but I feel confident that the product these women now make is of a quality good enough to be of appeal to the general public. The challenge is how to reach them.
Another thing I'm not very good at is modern communications media. (I can barely manage to write a blog with any regularity!) But with a bit of perseverance and lots of determination (read, stubbornness and bloody mindedness), I hope to have items such as these up on Etsy before too long too.
If anyone out there knows of individuals who might be willing to offer their skills and their time to get this ball rolling, I would be most grateful to be put in touch with them. Just email me at
What I would really like you to notice, is how striking and how universally appealing these garments are. Just the sort of thing to change into at the end of a long day taking in a Quilt Show. Cool and comfy - put your feet up, and sip on a glass of wine, while reviewing your impressions and your purchases. Doesn't get
 much better than that!

No comments:

Post a Comment