I started Marc Skid with the belief that brands, not just underwear, should be more like the people we admire and who inspire us in life. It’s pretty universal that we’re drawn to people who approach life with a sense of humor, possess a strong character, and exhibit purpose in all they do. A week ago, during my wife’s work convention, I was inspired by one of the keynote speakers, social entrepreneur and author, Liz Forkin Bohannon. Not only is her brand, Sseko, employing women and providing educational opportunities for women globally, her book, Beginner’s Pluck, is a must read. Now, I was also touched by a series of coincidences...like me, she is from St. Louis, went to the University of Missouri, and has two boys. Additionally, her mother is also a nurse and key source of inspiration. She definitely embraces the humor in her journey and her life as she reminds us to embrace your inner beginner, dream small, choose curiosity over criticism, and so much more. I encourage you to support her purpose and through her book, spend some quality time with Liz!
After Liz graduated from the University of Missouri with a Master’s degree in journalism, she journeyed to Uganda to report on the problems facing women and girls in that country. There were problems galore as many Ugandan ladies live in extreme poverty and in the midst of armed conflict. While in that trouble-torn and poverty-riddled nation, Liz was privileged to meet industrious and ambitious young women who were trying to finance their education. Wanting to help these young ladies, and start a socially conscious business, Liz hired three of them in 2009 to begin Sseko Designs. In the years since, Sseko Designs has grown into the largest shoe producer in Uganda – one which provides scholarships as well as footwear -- and an internationally recognized brand.
Since it was founded, Sseko Designs has enabled young women in Uganda to achieve their dreams of university education. As its website relates, “ These young women work for Sseko in the nine-month gap between secondary school and university, saving part of their income for university. They receive life skills training, are paired with professional mentors and get valuable formal work experience. At the end of their term, Sseko matches their savings 300%. Every woman who has graduated from Sseko has gone on to pursue higher education and is on her way to making our world a more beautiful place.”
Representatives from Sseko Designs appeared on NBC’s Shark Tank in 2015 and entranced viewers with samples of their lovely and chic Ribbon Sandals. In 2016, the Sseko Fellows program was launched; according to the Sseko website, through Sseko Fellows “women all across the U.S. launched their own impact businesses by selling Sseko and styling their communities.” In 2018, Sseko became a Verified Member of the Fair Trade Federation.
Sseko Designs provides not only the sandals and shoes for which It is best known but apparel, handbags, and accessories. To learn more, visit its website at ssekodesigns.com. Beginner's Pluck - https://amzn.to/38rWdDv