Carole Kinoti Mentors Elimu Sewing Project

Elimu Resource Centre
byElimu Resource Centre

Partnerships and joint initiatives have helped us become the organization we are today. We continued in 2022 with exciting new collaborations in the fashion industry, in Kenya and globally. One of our most memorable this year has been partnering with Carole Kinoti Brands. Carole visited Malindi in May stepping in as a mentor to our girls and to our team, bringing with her over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and social activist supporting youth and women including those in prisons through her business ventures.

Carole Kinoti is a renowned fashion entrepreneur in Kenya. Her Carole Kinoti Brands promotes Kenyan-made fashion designs. She runs a program, Fashion on the Road, where she tours the 47 counties in Kenya, working with local artists, women's groups, and charity organizations to use fashion as a tool for economic empowerment.

"When we support Her, she gains confidence to be perfect"

On her first trip, she met our alumni during one of their AMS workshops and helped them develop business ideas from their sewing skills. She inspired them to create a business name, establish what they want to be known for, and tips on getting customer needs right.
From this session, one of our alumni, Maryam, created a brand for her scrunchies business named Superwoman Wears.

Carole visited again in October during the Tea Collection visit where she worked together with the San Francisco designers to develop a way forward for producing Pendo Doll dresses and Pendo Artisan Rag Dolls ahead of Tea Collection’s 2024 Kenya-themed clothesline. Carole’s role became apparent; to help Elimu Girls produce quality and up-to-standard rag dolls and dresses that would be distributed widely to the US audience.

Following up on this visit, Carole recently had a three-day intensive training with our Elimu Girls at Heri Ministries College, where together with her team of professionals from Nairobi, took the girls through the steps of making the Pendo Dresses. It was an insightful exposure to the girls, at the end of the training, they had correctly sewed 50 prototypes of Pendo Dresses in the new pattern. Click on this link to watch Carole speaking to local news media during her visit in October.

Prior to this training, Carole donated rolls of fabrics that the girls used to make the prototype Pendo Dresses. They will continue to use this in their practice sessions.

Carole plays a critical role in mentoring our Sewing Project to get to the next level of professional production. We are eternally grateful for her support and how she comes in as a big sister to steer us to higher levels of growth. She has instilled so much confidence in our girls, and we get better with every interaction. With Carole in the picture, we are assured greater things are yet to come for our Pendo Artisan Rag Dolls production.