If you have been following us, you know that we started Ndara to share another story from the Central African Republic. We wanted to shine a spotlight on the joy, resilience and beauty that comes out of this country in the heart of Africa. We wanted a double-impact: change the lives of our artisans and their communities and inspire change in the lives of Ndara’s supporters. One part of doing this is opening up our web shop, in the end of this blog you will find out how you can get exclusive access to our web shop before it goes live in just a couple of days! But, we are getting a head of ourselves.
This week, we checked in with some Ndara customers to see what Ndara means to them, and how Ndara has changed their perspective on the Central African Republic.
“I’ve seen Ndara bloom since 2018. I loved the pop-ups in Charlotte’s living room in those first days, where smiling, kind “Ndara ladies” proudly presented their handmade products and slowly, carefully tallied products to prepare our bills. Now, in the shop, a haven of peace where we can brunch, chat and shop, the same smiling, kind ladies are not shy anymore. They manage the selection and presentation and bills confidently and efficiently, as the empowered and capable business women they have become. CAR can be proud to have this gem, a sustainable business with Central African materials, products and managers. It’s an inspiration!” -Antje Kraft, working for the UN, living in Bangui since 2018
“I had the honor to watch as the Ndara boutique was created, out of an unused corner of the compound where I lived in Bangui. It has become a beacon of light and inspiration for those who work, shop (and sometimes just sit in the garden and reflect) there.“ -Mike Cole, International Criminal Court, living in Bangui since 2017
“Ndara is transforming the narrative on the Central African people by brilliantly empowering women who are trapped —but courageously striving— in this heartbreaking and violent context. What strikes me the most is Ndara’s limitless belief in the artisans. Ndara never underestimates any challenge a woman faces, however small it might seem; they give women the skills to tackle it all on their own. I’m profoundly inspired by the true love and humanity of Ndara.” -Alex Jonnaert, working for the UN, living in Bangui since 2018
“Ndara's products are a powerful medium for showcasing my passion for the Central African Republic, this country which is also mine. When I offer products created by Ndara to my friends and members of my family living abroad, I bring them material proof that Central Africans know how to produce beautiful products and how to transmit joy and happiness. This story of the Central African Republic becomes reality thanks to your work, the passion, and the application that you put into your creations. Nothing could make me happier than to hear my cousin - born outside Central African Republic and who knows very little about this country which is also hers - comment on your blog dealing with the effects of the war in Ukraine. She was able to realize for herself how much the women and men of the Central African Republic show resilience daily to overcome these repeated crises.
As a strong believer in sustainable and impact driven investing, I can only applaud the decision you have made to use private businesses to empower locals and change the narrative about the Central African Republic. I believe that it is the best approach to get people out of poverty thanks to their own work and willingness.” -Arnaud Djoko Nguemto, Central African living in France.
Ndara is our artisans and makers, but Ndara is also you: our customers and supporters. Without you we would not be here today. Your support is helping us grow; our boutique celebrated its one year anniversary in June and we are just about to launch our web shop.
As a special treat to our most loyal supporters, we’ll send an exclusive discount code and secret link to our hidden web shop through our newsletter on Saturday July 16! With this link you get access to our web shop before it goes publicly live! Stock is limited and demand is high, so get your orders in when you get that link.If you want to get this select access to our products before we open up the web shop to everyone else make sure you sign up for our newsletter here.