My name is Lea, and I started Murahaba because I needed money to support my Sickle Cell work.
Yes people, now you know this 🙂
My initial motivation to start a business was to support the work I was doing around Sickle Cell. At that time, it was just me and my brother traveling around Kenya, educating families and communities affected by Sickle Cell.
I was driven by a desire to inform and assure all these people living with Sickle Cell like myself, that they were not alone. My hope was to meet all those mothers of children who had been told there children would not live beyond childhood. I hoped to show them am still here despite all those negative expectations.
I wanted to tell that young girl who felt different because she was developing somewhat differently from the others, that I felt the same things.
That family with multiple children living with Sickle Cell, I wanted to show them that despite all the challenges, we were 3 and we made it.
I wanted to tell mothers and fathers wondering if their child would ever have a child of their own. My sister is living proof.
By sharing all my stories and listening to all of theirs I sought to understand them only at a level that I could. I wanted to meet all of these beautiful souls and create safe spaces for them to open up and maybe show up for someone else that needed them down the line.
But all this costed money.
I had gone as far as I could with the money I crowdsourced initially. I was at a place where I couldn’t go on without money for transport or food.
At that point in my life I had been wrapping my head for about a year.
All this happened while my very good brother from the US was also visiting at the time. He complimented my head wraps and suggested that it would be a good business to start. He mentioned that sea stars all over the world and back home would really appreciate the African print. I didn’t think much of it at first and choked it up as, well another “foreigner” awed by African fabric. I didn’t give it much thought until a year later. This is when I finally started the process of figuring out what exactly the business would look like and what the offering was. That process took another year until finally deciding to do African Kitenge head wraps.
I was in a financial deadlock at that time. So I decided to ask my sister and brother for support to finance and run the business. There was a lot of conversation around ownership and shares and division of labour and investments. We eventually had an understanding and initiated the business. That’s how Murahaba was born. We are a small family business, now 1 year old. So much support has gone into this from my TLC Seastars and Brothers. Even though we’re still just figuring this out, even with the major ups, downs and diagonals we’ve experienced, I am grateful. I am also truly grateful to have something that supports the work I enjoy doing within these Sickle Cell communities I am part of.
Its a great honor to be in service to this online community. Which means, I can be of more service to my community here, back home.
This is just one side of the story of Murahaba many don’t get to hear.
Murahaba shares 15% of its profits to go into supporting outreach programs in Sickle Cell communities all over Kenya. I consider Murahaba a business for good not solely because of the Sickle Cell work its supporting. Murahaba provides opportunities continuously to all who’s work goes into all our products. Everything is physically sourced, handmade and created within local communities in Kenya.
Every purchase from the end product trickles down to the tailor, the supplier, the weavers and the craftsmen. We look forward to sharing more of the love and dedicated work manifested into our offerings with you.
Kindly share with us what you think makes a business “for good”? Does this matter to you when you’re making a purchase?
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