Founded by Tomide Awe, Tomide grew up in Nigeria where a shocking 73% of the female population cannot afford to go to school. She too was one of those young girls whose parents could simply not afford to send their child to school. Instead of getting caught up in the sorrow of it all, it motivated her to make a change.
In Nigeria, Tomide was constantly surrounded by traditional prints and textiles and got to wear them to weddings of family members as well as other ceremonial functions. To her, these textiles are symbolic of tribal roots so deep and stories so dear to the people of these regions, and she considered handbags to be the one thing that she and her female friends could not do without, so history was made.
Olori strives to promote social justice through the sale of its African-inspired handbags, in an industry dominated by Western inspiration. With every bag sold, the company pays for one month of a Nigerian girl’s tuition, with the aim of inspiring the girls of today to become the female leaders of tomorrow. What’s more, all items are hand-made using the highest quality materials.
Olori hopes to bring social change using the female fashion industry, valued at $621 billion globally, to one of the most deprived areas of the world — sub-Saharan Africa. A colossal 10.5 million children do not attend school in Nigeria, most of whom are girls, and roughly 75% of children not in school have never stepped foot in a classroom. Olori hopes to change this by raising funds through the sale of its new line of handbags.
“I was fortunate to have parents that could afford to send me to school from an early age. When I finally got my education, I knew that I wanted to create something that could help provide other girls with the opportunities that I had. That is why I created Olori, to ensure that more and more young girls around the world have the education they need to become the inspiring leaders of our future,” said Olori Founder, Tomide Awe.