About Bow Shoeshoe
It takes a village to produce each tie. We believe in the transformative power of a likeminded community. We train people throughout Lesotho to produce ties with their traditional fabric. Our mission is to use our craft to empower the people of Lesotho, and stamp out HIV/AIDS by bringing entrepreneurial development to some of the world's most isolated communities.
We began as a Peace Corps Volunteer and his host brother, trying to create jobs and share the Basotho cultural identity with the world through our vibrant shoeshoe fabric. To date we've trained more than 150 Basotho people and won't stop until every underserved community is able to support and express themselves through a craft.
Since leaving Peace Corps, Edward, along with his brother Katleho have trained more than 150 people in 7 different communities. Edward spends half the year New Orleans, designing new products and marketing in the vibrant art market culture of one of America's premiere cities. Katleho manages the production side, assisting the community sewing teams and teaching new products to each community.
We work in 7 communities, and our production crew are Basotho from more than 50 different villages. For many we are the only stable source of paid labor. Coupled with a national unemployment rate over 40%, the opportunities created by Bow Shoeshoe for both women and men allow them to earn a fair wage, develop marketable skills, and strengthen the bonds of community members by working together as a team. It truly does take a village to produce each Bow Shoeshoe product.
Why we make ties
There is a much deeper impact in this community than mere income generation and skills development. We support gender equality by encouraging men and women to work side by side, doing the same jobs and earning the same income. This project also developed as a means of sharing the culture and style of Basotho people with the outside world as a means of identity empowerment. We strive to positively impact lives in Lesotho, and are therefore dedicated to bringing employment opportunities to the regions stricken hardest by HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty.