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Monday, May 7, 2012

Vera Bradley on Steroids - Bagamoyo - GET YOU ONE!

Well it was quite a weekend folks. Jam packed with activities. More like Saturday had about 4 days of stuff jammed into it - and Friday was used for preparation for Saturday and Sunday was used for recuperation from Saturday.

I had planned a while ago to drive out to Nakuru (2 hours from Nairobi) to visit the Springs of Hope Children's Home that a beautiful woman named Molly Mitchel Bail runs.  I was connected to Molly through another friend that has a children's home in Nakuru and have been stalking her and the action around her  home on FB for a loooong time. Since I'm approaching my move date, I wanted to take this opportunity to gather up allll my stuff that i'm not taking with me and give it to them to find good use for. I really am trying to pair down - thinking about going home to all my stuff in storage makes me sick. I wish I owned nothing but what I have here with  me sometimes. Such a free feeling. No furniture, no boxes of scarey porcelain dolls from younger days, no shoeboxes of photos from jr high and highschool that I'll never do anything with, no yellow cases of old orthodontic retainers that for some reason I just couldn't throw away...(c'mon how badly did you want to wear a retainer in elementary school - you know you were the kid with the straightened out paperclip wrapped around your teeth to try and look cool - Oh i know you).

Anyways, besides donating my stuff I really wanted to visit the kids and see their bag making operation called Bagamoyo. YOU NEED TO SEE THIS PLACE. It's legit. In fact this post will only be about the Bagamoyo workshop since it will be a long one - Tomorrow I will tell you about the Springs of Hope Children's Home.

Here's all the crap I took with us - and can you believe I even forgot one whole duffel ..so there's more. I mean, I cleaned house. Food, medicines, clothing, fun stuff, shoes, shower stuff, jewelry I dont wear, all sorts of stuff. I know Molly knows many women that work in the workshop and the home and around there that could use all of it - so we brought it all.

We set out at 9am - It was Me, my awesome and inspirational friend Megan (she deserves to have a blog post devoted to just her and her fantasticness) and Abu - one of the guys that used to drive for RTI - he was our driver - I get a bit worried driving on the highways here - craziness - and it's the rainy season and Abu does it much better.
Megan just chillin in the green machine
We arrived around 11am and the first stop was to meet Molly and visit the Bagamoyo workshop that she created to fund the orphanage and to support women that are HIV+ in the community.  Sustainability People. It's a good thing.  These women and the operations manager design and create the most AMAZING bags of all kind.  The workshop and store is so nice! I was in shock that Molly put all this together so quickly - they have a legit operation going on and they are making such HIGH QUALITY bags - you just have to see for yourself and you really need to buy one - they are gorgeous!  It's incredible and Molly, the Director of Springs of Hope and the Bagamoyo workshop is a BEAUTY by the way - beyond the fact that she has given her life to all this and has changed the lives of so many - she is just a gorgeous woman (i hope you read this Molly cause you should know :-))
On with the photos of their amazing, incredible, unbelievably cool quilted bags and workshop:

Bagamoyo means Lay down your heart in Swahili -  The Perfect name for their mission and method. It's an undeniable cause.

Inside the Bagamoyo Show Room - So colorful

More awesomeness

and More...

All their bags are incredibly well quilted and made from very strong materials. It's seriously way better than anything Vera Bradley has ever made and they are cheaper AND the money goes to a substantial cause - the livelihoods of vulnerable children and women with HIV

You can even pick out your own fabric from their really gorgeous selection and have your personal bag made - or dress - or pants - or shirt or whatever! Oh you know I'm having a bag and a dress made - you know me too well.

The women that make them - Talented group of women and some men in there too.

I wish you could see the quality up close...oh but you CAN! I'm bringing some back to DC to sell for them!

Se Moi!

Here are the bags I bought and will sell once I get home - Get in LINE!
Beautiful Green patterned Tote

Gorgeous  - Love the pattern

Perfect for that college student going to school in August!

LOVE - could be a purse, diaper bag, laptop bag, or all three!

Green tote again

MAC book case! SO COOL! I have another one like this that is larger and with a different pattern - I forgot to take a photo of it.

The quality is amazing on all of these.
And this is Molly - the Fearless LEADER!
I hope she doesn't get mad that I stole this from her FB profile! But, the world must know what an awesome woman this is.
If you want to buy some purses -  you can see some of the options here: Bagamoyo Facebook Link and you can pay with paypal!  Okay so I'm going to cut this off here since it's long but there is SO SO SO much more to tell about Saturday - More to come tomorrow on the visit to the Spring of Hope House.

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