"Everyone has a story to tell, a lesson to teach, and wisdom to share. Life is a beautiful masterpiece bound together by your experiences. Open up and share your story; become an inspiration to others. You can make a difference because you matter." –Melanie Moushigian Koulouris
[dropcap]E[/dropcap]veryone has a story. The talented artisans who sell on Marketplace Africa are no exception. The noteworthy site, founded by Mall for Africa and DHL, has a mission to help bring African-made products to the US and global market. Shoppers can purchase gorgeous products directly from the source. The site offers items from the continent's most talented designers and artisans from a variety of categories including fashion, body care, handbags, jewelry and home décor.
Until recently, African craftspeople were isolated from global customers due to distance, the risk of not receiving overseas payments, and complex shipping requirements. Customers who wished to purchase products directly from African artisans faced obstacles regarding, accessibility of items, authenticity and validation of the product, uncertainty of delivery, high delivery costs, and secure payments.
Here is just one story from the hundreds of talented artisans on Marketplace Africa. Her name is Chinwe Ezenwa and she makes beautiful handbags.
"Every handmade bag is a work of art. Each print tells a story, a struggle, a personal journey," she states.
Thirty-five years ago, Chinwe Ezenwa started a company she named "Le Look." Born out of the purpose to help the needy, especially those disabled, it was built out of compassion for those disabled close to her because she saw that even though someone cannot hear or speak, that person can see and can still use his or her creative mind.
Le Look has evolved from a salon into a style house. Famous for its eclectic African print handbags, Le Look is a brand that celebrates and honors African tradition through a lens that is distinctive, modern and qualitative. Every handmade bag is a work of art. Each print tells a story, a struggle, a personal journey. Chinwe is very passionate about informing the world of the stories and beauty of Nigeria and she does just that with her collection of exquisite handmade handbags, worn on the arms of women all over the world, as she puts Africa's great creative energy to use!
As Chief Mrs. Chinwe says, "I always insist on putting a Made in Nigeria label on my products because that is how it is done in China." Le Look bags are beautiful because they are a work of art. Although Le Look has grown as a brand, using state-of-the-art technology with the capacity to make tens of thousands of bags, we have not lost sight of the purpose from which we started. We remain passionate about giving back to our community because we believe the world we live in should be a safe and joyful place for all of us.
Le Look bags are 100% handmade in Nigeria masterpieces that are leaving their prints on fashion - pun intended.
Today, Le Look is a brand. Le Look is a culture. Le Look is a voice.