Meet Zebiba. She is the founder of Zebib Leathers, an Ethiopia based small leather goods manufacturing company. Zebiba got into the leather manufacturing industry ten years ago after taking a course at a local training center. After working for different local leather manufacturing companies for three years, Zebiba bravely decided to start her own business with a dream to build a successful leather goods brand that will enable her to support herself and her family and create job opportunities for women in her community. Her long-term vision was (Still is) to open a training center where she will train women in her community and provide them with employment opportunities so they also can be able to change their lives.
She collected ETB12000 (Up to $250) from her family and bought one used sewing machine and limited supplies of must-have accessories. She started her journey as an entrepreneur with a big vision to make a difference. Unfortunately, the road to attaining her goals was filled with big barriers and endless challenges. But Zebiba’s spirit was bigger!
She started her business with a used machine in her bedroom. It was small, uncomfortable, and too hot to spend the whole day in, but that didn’t discourage her. While working in that room, she envisioned a big workshop where she and many other women would happily work in. So she kept pushing.
She started getting orders, and her small business started growing. Unfortunately, that tiny room couldn’t accommodate. So, unable to afford an entire workshop, Zebiba decided to sublease a small space from another business. She quickly gained a lot of repeat customers who loved the creativity and quality of her work. She got into multiple shops and participated in many markets. However, as her business grew, the demand for a bigger space, more capital to buy materials, and more machinery grew. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to meet the needs. On top of this, add high expenses like high rent, loan payments, and bills. It paralyzed her growth. She simply did not have the right resources to grow into her full potential, forcing her business to stagnate and eventually go out of business.
Now at this point, most of us would’ve given up. But not Zebiba. Instead, she sat out to do what she does best, Fight! She spent every minute of that year working hard to find a solution to her problems. She applied for grants and loans, participated in competitions, and knocked on every door there was. And finally, she earned a small space that can fit no more than two machines through a local small business administration program. It wasn’t big, but it was a start. So she continued to work even harder.
After Seven years of working day and night to build her business, Zebiba isn’t where she wants to be, but she hasn’t given up. Regardless of the barriers, she has managed to stay in business, created a job opportunity for two women, and continued to create beautiful crafts. Even through a global pandemic that caused millions of businesses to close their doors and shut down, she persisted, held onto her dreams, and kept fighting with every power left in her.
Now, think about what would happen if she got the support she needs. If the barriers keeping her from getting where she deserves to be were lifted. How many women would she give job opportunities for? How many girls would she inspire? How many people would she give hope to? Finally, think about how her community as a whole can be impacted positively by it? See, it’s never about just one person!
Through helping Zebiba, we will be able to help millions like her. We will open doors and give hope to women buried under their disadvantages; we show girls and women who have been told there is no hope because of who they are or where they came from; they can also achieve their wildest dreams.
Challenges and How You Can Help
Some of the main challenges Zebiba is facing at the moment are; lack of capital, lack of machinery and enough working space.
Ways To Help Her:
Buy Her Products; when you buy her pieces, you help her raise the capital she needs to maintain and grow her business. View her collections
This month, we are giving you 10% off on all of her pieces - Use the code “SupportingZebiba” to access your discount. And 10% of your purchases will go towards helping her tackle her challenges of capital and provide her with machinery.
Tips: 100% of the Tips you leave when purchasing any of her products will also fund her business need.
Sponsor a Machinery:
Lack of suitable machinery is one of the most significant barriers limiting Zebiba from reaching her goals. It makes it hard to develop unique designs, reduce her productivity, and expose her and her employees to health problems because the tools as an alternative are not comfortable for their bodies.
Even though many, Cylinder arm machine flatbed, Strap Cutter and Stamper are some of the main machinery, Zebiba needs most at the moment.
So if you’re able to, you can sponsor one of these machines by covering the total cost or contributing a portion of it. Please fill out this form if you’re interested in helping in this category. Any amount is welcomed and very much appreciated.
Any other help is welcome and much appreciated!
Please send us an email If you’re an organization that would like to collaborate in this area or provide any support.
Let's come together to change lives, make a difference, and create the better world we all want to see!