I’m sure you’ve all gathered how much we love small businesses. But when these small businesses also make steps towards making the world a better place? Consider us smitten. Lion’s Thread hires talented women artisans in Uganda to handcraft bow ties made from African textiles, and all proceeds go to women’s empowerment programs, as well as The African SOUP. All the while, they’re making gentlemen look incredibly dashing. Lion’s Thread is going to be a featured vendor at The Big Fake Wedding Atlanta next week, and we could not be more excited. Today on the blog, Sarah, the Director of Business Development for Lion’s Thread, is sharing a little bit about her amazing business before the big day!
Lion’s Thread is a fashion social enterprise based in Atlanta, Georgia. We hire talented women artisans in rural Uganda to handcraft bow ties out of African textiles, which we then sell here in the U.S. All profits generated go to support women’s empowerment programs (from financial and computer literacy to business development) for the ladies on our team, as well as a local, educational nonprofit called The African SOUP.
Tell us about the story behind Lion’s Thread.
Lion’s Thread emerged from the marriage of two passions. Sydney Hulebak wanted to leverage fashion for social good and Brin Enterkin was interested in using social enterprise to bolster an already existing nonprofit in Uganda called The African SOUP, which she founded back in 2009. As they were brainstorming through ideas for fashionable products to create, they noticed that most of the current artisan products designed in East Africa were targeted towards women and the home. They wanted to bring men into the conversation by making them a part of empowering women across the globe. And what better way to do that than through bold neckwear?
Lion’s Thread employs a team of seven women in Uganda to design and create these bold bow ties, as well as an additional team of local artisans who contribute the other facets of the tie: the logo, the buttons, etc. We encourage our Ugandan partners to improve the quality of the goods they make in order to help them develop the vocational skills necessary to compete in an ever-expanding global marketplace. Our hope is to strengthen our local community in Uganda through fashion. It’s an amazing thing what empowerment can do for the human spirit.
Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do because I believe in what I’m doing. I know that sounds cliché, but my heart has always searched for ways in which I can be a part of something bigger than myself. I want to be able to use whatever talents I have been blessed with in order to make a difference, and Lion’s Thread has a mission that I whole-heartedly support. I work alongside some amazing people who all bring something different to the table, and that in and of itself is incredibly motivating and inspiring.
Describe a highlight or pivotal moment in your career.
Actually, my biggest highlight has been meeting the team that I eventually became a member of. I went to the Big Fake Wedding last year just to see what it was all about from a vender standpoint. I was walking the Tunnel of Love, and I ran into some Lion’s Thread team members. After talking to them, I was immediately inspired by their spirit and the company vision. I wanted to be a part of something so amazing! Luckily, they saw something in me as well, and they invited me to be a member of the team. My life has been significantly changed and infinitely blessed by the amazing people I work with ever since.
What is the best part of your job?
I would have to say that the best part of my job is being able to be a part of a company from nearly the beginning and helping it grow. I have seen Lion’s Thread morph into something greater every day and being a part of that is indescribable.
What can guests expect from Lion’s Thread at The Big Fake Wedding Atlanta?
Guests can expect good times and dashing neckwear, of course! We hope our bow ties inspire some #FOMO for all the men out there looking for ways to stand out above the crowd.
Love Lion’s Thread as much as we do? You could have the opportunity to win a special edition, not yet released bow tie, curated just for The Big Fake Wedding Atlanta! Stay tuned…