Meet the Makers: Olive & Annie

Can you tell us a little about yourself and business?
In 2011 upon graduating high school I moved to Nairobi, Kenya to open Zawadi la Tumaini Children's Home. My passion has always been advocating for women and children, specifically orphaned children and women affected by sexual violence. When I was 20 years old I became pregnant with my daughter. This was a transition point for me. Not only was I struggling at points throughout the year to fund ZLT, but I was also becoming a young single mother. In an effort to minimize the financial stress of funding ZLT I created Olive & Annie.

Olive & Annie is an ethical fashion brand creating artisan crafted apparel and accessories. Our products are providing fair employment to 10+ artisans in Kenya and Ethiopia, and educating our customers on social issues close to our heart through our packaging and designs. Olive & Annie product designs are inspired by women's rights, humanity towards others, and ending sexual violence. We proudly provide 30% of our profits to Zawadi la Tumaini Children's Home and an initiative we founded, She Matters. She Matters is a social media platform and upcoming website which provides support, resources, and a safe space for story telling for survivors of sexual violence.

Why do you think it’s important to buy and support local?
Local makers build on our arts community and inspire other members in our community to pursue projects they may have been too hesitant to turn into a small business. By buying local you support our local economy and create new jobs in our city.

What is your favourite product?
My favourite products are our new Bititi Necklace from the Olive & Annie Delicates Collection and our Umoja Ring. I love how delicate the necklace is.
Bititi design features a tusk which is a symbol of strength across Africa. We chose the name "Bititi" because it translates to "Strong Woman".
Umoja design is inspired by UNITY. This design was signifies embracing someone in their moment of need, and the relief you feel when supported through difficult times. It signifies the need for uniting with survivors of sexual violence.

Do you have any tips for new entrepreneurs in Sudbury?
Passionately share your brand with EVERYONE you meet. Create products you're excited about sharing with the world and never give up when you face challenges!

How did you hear about Sudbury in a Box, and why did you get involved?
Sudbury in a Box is the perfect mix of brands in Sudbury that our community loves. It not only supports small businesses but educates the public about the amazing brands that exist in our community. We're honoured to be participating in the Women's Day boxes!!

And finally, what do you love about Sudbury the most?
What I love about Sudbury the most right now is our growing downtown community. I am a HUGE coffee fan so I absolutely love going to KuppaJo, grabbing a Hazelnut Latte, and getting some work done in a cozy environment. Our downtown community is growing and there are so many amazing restaurants, shops, and lounges popping up - it's wonderful to see!

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