In 2014, we brought 40 wedding dresses donated by Oasen Gallery in Skien to Emali. Our goal was to start a local business that could create employment opportunity in the area.

Our local partners ( FPFK Samuli), introduced us to Jacinta Faustin, a hard-working and motivated woman that was more than enthusiastic to get the opportunity. We helped her set up a business plan, find a suitable business venue, and provided startup support that lasted 2 years.

After 2 years, Jacinta was left to manage the shop as an independent business woman. We went to see how she is doing today!

Jacinta (left) and the team that helped her start her own business in Emali

The team in Kenya at the opening of the wedding shop. From the left: David Ampoko, Rasime Tarayia, Signe Søvde, Jacinta Faustin, Andrea Stykket.

Jacinta welcomed us to her house for a cup of tea, and could tell us she is still running the shop in Emali. She has had to change venue, but has expanded the shop and is now providing all sorts of festive clothing, traditional outfits and jewellery, and even mPeza services.

She has faced many obstacles along the way, including a very sick mother in law, that has meant she had to spend much time at home. But she is still managing her customers well and working on her orders from home whilst popping down occationally to deliver goods and take new orders.

Rasime, Andrea and Jacinta in the first shop venue. Jacinta has had to move her shop due to council city planning, but found a place with lower rent.

Jacinta has found a niche in creative takes on traditional outfits

Jacinta was proud to show us tenfolds of pictures of her recent work, and could show us a selection traditional clothing with a twist.

“When you run a business, you must be creative to stand out from your competition. People like to wear something unique”.

She is still facing the challenge of balancing family with business, but is hoping that it will get easier with time. She has began using her phone more to communicate with her customers, and enjoys being her own boss. She says it allows her to make better choices, to upgrade her house, and to manage her bills.