May 30, 2016
Our newest collection of colorful, print-happy, wear-with-ease baby & kids clothes launched on Target.com this month! We checked in with our Creative Director (also a mom!) about the newly launched kids line and why we are so proud of all things #indegokids.
What excited you about making Indego Africa available to the masses through a retailer like Target?
We are so excited to tell our community about the Indego Africa mission and model and to showcase the work of these amazing artisan women to the world. We want to highlight the successes we’ve seen through our mission of education and economic empowerment; these are stories and experiences that can translate to so many areas of the globe, even right here at home in the U.S. We want people to celebrate the hard work of mamas, and of makers, wherever they are and whatever their backgrounds, and to appreciate the value of education and true social impact.
Tell us more about the prints featured in the collection: What are they called? What inspired them?
These prints are inspired by some of our favorite African wax print designs. The designs represent many different aspects of African culture: celebrations, rituals, regions and history. Each print is locally sourced and limited-edition.
Can you give us more background on the women artisans who worked on this line? What’s their story?
These talented women—most of whom are also mamas—are all part of an artisan cooperative named Umutima (which means “heart” in Kinyarwanda). Based in Nyamirambo, Kigali, Rwanda, this group of 30 women seamstresses inspires us everyday with their beautiful artistry, their determination to succeed, and their dreams for their own and their families’ futures. We recently asked three of them what motherhood and being a working mom means to them. Here’s what they said:
Jeanne Hakizimana, 30 years old; two children (1 boy; 1 girl)
"I work everyday to feed my family and give them everything they need. Some people say work is hard, but nothing feels hard when it’s for my kids."
Francine Byukusemge, 47 years old; eight children (3 boys; 5 girls)
"When we are all together, I love talking with my children. As their mom, I try to teach them new things, beyond what they learn in school. I want to teach them about the world and help them have happy lives."
Francoise Kanakuze, 46 years old; four children (1 boy; 3 girls)
"I work because I want all of my children to go to school. I want them to learn math, geography, physics, computers. Education will bring them bright futures, and that is what I want for them most of all."
Why infant / toddler clothing?
Well, first, because it's the cutest! We have always been fans of color and prints and all things happy and playful so it was a natural transition for our mainly home décor and women’s accessory brand to expand into infant and toddlers apparel. Also, 91% of the women we work with are mothers or caregivers who, on average, support four children each. Its important to us, and to them, for their children and their families to be a part of our story, and launching kids apparel was a super fun way to do that!
What makes the Indego Africa clothing unique from other infant / toddler’s clothing?
We work with unique prints sourced locally in Africa, and each piece is lovingly handmade by a Rwandan woman artisan. Each style in this collection is designed to travel with its wearer from home to play to party with an effortless, comfortable silhouette while still being stylish and statement-making (with a story of good behind it!). This collection celebrates color, creativity and, of course, the mama makers who put care into every product they make. All of our products are true labors of love for the artisans we work with, and what parent doesn't want a touch of made-with-sweetness for their little one?