Global Sister’s artisan women are changing the design game big time in 2018.
Global Sisters believe in democratising entrepreneurship through supporting women artisans and their communities to become financially independent by providing a one-stop shop of business support.
Global Sisters is an online luxury store with a focus on products that are handmade, ethical, fair-trade and luxurious. Their unique one-of-a-kind designs are crafted by our Sisters locally and women across the globe. Beautiful things for real change, your purchases from Global Sisters at The Myer Market directly helps women who have special vulnerabilities or are excluded from mainstream employment. Shop better GIFTS which makes a better WORLD.
Meet 4 of our Global Sisters women, who are changing the game worldwide in 2018.
1. Twich Sewing Collective
Named for its members’ community in South Sudan, Twich Women’s Sewing Collective was formed in 2011. In 2012, recognising the potential for the group to serve as a place for South Sudanese women to not only gather and connect, but to develop marketable skills, Abuk Bol steered the collective to become a sewing business.
Abuk Bol - This special clutch was handcrafted and designed in Melbourne by Global Sisters in collaboration with Twich Sewing Collective.
Abuk, who has made this clutch was kidnapped at age 14 in Sudan and released a year later not knowing where she was. She was rescued from a camp three years later. After arriving in Melbourne in 2004 she found out that her mother was alive, but her father and three brothers were killed. She has six children and one on the way and loves to sew and impart knowledge to the younger generation.
Our Sisters at Twich are supported by Global Sisters to assist them in educational programs and finding opportunities to sell their crafts.
2. Pakao Sorn
Pakao started making soft toy animals in 2009 after she arrived in Malaysia as a refugee from Burma. The Mon Women Refugee Organisation (MWRO) taught her how to sew, while her best friend at MWRO, Thanda, gave her the courage to learn English, sew clothes and make soft toys.
In 2012, she arrived in Australia as a refugee, speaking Mon, Burmese, Thai and Malay – and now English. She’s an active member of the Mon Association, joining their bus tours to explore the district, visiting Young to see the cherry orchards, or observing local Burmese and Buddhist celebrations. She enjoys cooking Burmese food for friends and people who’ve helped her along her journey, growing herbs and vegetables in pots on her balcony.
3. Tigi Daramy
Tigi Dankay Daramy is a traditional Gara Dyer. Having been taught the art by her mother, she is continuing the long tradition of women passing down this technique through generations. She uses Gara cloth, which is special in Sierra Leone, her home country. It is used for traditional dress for weddings, festivals and special occasions. She makes the dye by pounding leaves together and soaking them in water for days, adding root from another plant to darken the dye – everyone in her family knows how to do it. When Tigi came to Australia she looked everywhere to find a place to continue dying. She had no dye, no material and no space to work. Now she is building her own business and learning more and more about the Australian market.
Tigi came to Australia in 2001 with six of her eight children as a refugee, after civil war had broken out in Sierra Leone and she lost her husband. They went to Guinea, where they waited for three years to be sent somewhere safer. Even then Tigi would dye, using different dyes and colours, and selling fabrics to support her family. Today she lives in South Western Sydney with three of her children and four grandchildren, while her other children and grandchildren live in Germany. Still, whenever she dyes, her mind goes far away, to Sierra Leone. “I remember how it went. Everyone is going to dye today, or everyone is going to bind today. Everyone is together, busy,” she says. Her dream is to teach Gara dying to other men and women from Sierra Leone, so that the tradition is not lost, and to help give them a sense of connection to the place where they came from.
4. Sandra Nugget
Sandra Nugget is a member of the Walmajarri community, traditionally the community based itself in the Great South Desert of northern West Australia. Today the Walmajarri people live in small communities from Mulan in the north, to the Fitzroy River and Bidjadanga in the south Kimberley. Sandra spends most of her time living mostly in Bunuba Country near the Tunnel Creek.
The Kimberly is renowned for its unique Boab trees and the carving of the nut has always been revered in Aboriginal communities. The Boab nuts are only available for a few months after the wet season. It is during this time that Sandra – with her expert understanding of the Boab trees – will collect and carve.
Over a few days, Sandra will use only a pocket knife, carving what she observes from her surroundings into the nut. Every nut has unique and beautifully crafted images – a snap shot in Kimberley time.
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