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P.S. - We’re Going Back-to-School!

P.S.- I Made This... supports our Leadership Academy - find out why!

This summer, we collaborated with P.S.- I made this… on a line of vibrant, fun, & vividly colored hand-embroidered patches! As part of this partnership, Erica Domesek, the innovative DIY brand’s founder, traveled to Rwanda to meet our local team, visit our partner cooperatives, and see Indego Africa’s work in action. 

On her last day in Rwanda, Erica taught a class to fourteen of our artisan partners on creativity, branding, and starting your own business. The lesson was a precursor to the official launch of our Leadership Academy, which will provide advanced business training to our talented, entrepreneurial, and inspirational artisan partners. We were SO excited about how the class went that we wanted to hear all about it firsthand. We stopped by the P.S.- World Craftquarters to chat with Erica about her experiences in Rwanda and put the PSxIndegoAfrica patches to good use! If you donate any amount between today and Friday 9/12, you will be entered to win our signature Back-to-School backpack, decorated by Erica herself! 

When you were in Rwanda, you taught a spirited and inspiring class to our artisan partners on how you built your brand and the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What was this experience like for you?

This was one of the most memorable experiences ever.  It was an honor being in the presence of such talented women who were passionate about their craft. Being a part of their close community and speaking to them about my world was a new experience, mainly because we spoke two different languages. At first I thought it would be difficult to communicate, however there was an inherent sense of business, a shared passion to create, and a desire to learn from one another that made the day a beautiful experience that I will forever keep close to my heart.

When we hear the word education we think of opportunity and empowerment. What does education mean to you and how has it helped you become the person you are today?

The word education means something different to me everyday, as I am always evolving and try to learn something new each day. Having a diverse set of interests, as well as the ability to join a conversation while being open to listening to others, has helped me develop a deeper knowledge and capacity to expand comprehension of subjects into real life learning. Someone once told me: "talk once, listen twice" - meaning you will grow as an individual if you listen deeper and more thoughtfully. We, as humans, want to absorb as much knowledge as we can. Knowledge is power, and the most powerful thing is to pass on this knowledge to others. 

From branding to budgets, our artisan partners are excited to learn the ins and outs of all things business. What was your favorite subject to study in school and why? 

My favorite subjects were always Art and English. Finding an outlet for my creative side was important in my early development. At the time, I had no clue how these subjects would play such a prominent role in my career, however my parents always supported my creative side and encouraged me to take part in the Arts. I'm a firm believer that empowering one's passions from an early age is essential in our personal growth and evolution.

As someone who is deeply familiar with our work in Rwanda {having seen it all firsthand!}, why do you think it’s important for people to support our Leadership Academy? 

For me, it's as simple as the golden rule. We were taught: "One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself." Spending time in a developing country where there is a lack of resources like education, technology, finances, etc. one can only think how lucky we are to grow up in a country where we are blessed with the fortune of education.  If the roles were reversed, and Americans did not have such prosperous opportunities, we would probably dream to have support, help, and guidance in our day-to-day from others who were successful in these areas.  It is in the spirit of giving and the thoughtfulness of humanity that I whole-heartedly feel a responsibility to contribute to the building blocks of the Leadership Academy.  Seeing actual results from our support and watching these women go back to their cooperatives and apply business practices and implement new ideas is a beautiful thing. 

Donate to our Leadership Academy anytime today through 9/12 – you’ll be supporting an amazing cause & be entered to win an awesome backpack - made in Rwanda and decorated by Erica herself!