SALONE WEDDINGS?or

THINGS YOUR SHOULD KNOW BEFORE YOUR SALONE WEDDING

Where Lion & Lionesses Roar

I am not going to invite you to my wedding if you are not going to be there for my marriage” this quote had stuck with me the moments I picked it up from God knows where. Maybe from a movie or tv show but never mind.

Things you should keep in mind for your big day. I am not going to beat around the bush I’m going straight into it.

1. KNOW IT IS YOUR WEDDING: don’t allow anybody to champion the planning of your day if you don’t have a wedding planner. I repeat take charge of your wedding don’t let your parents or inlaws relived their past on your day make your own mistakes, after all, there is nothing like a perfect wedding. We all know how our parents, inlaws, and friends can be in Salone. Everyone wants to have an opinion and be heard; you should do this, you should wear that, if you are not careful or strong to say no to them you will be doing a whole lot of things that you don’t really want to do for your wedding.

2. GET A BUDGET AND STICK WITH IT: there is so much pressure on ourselves to get the best wedding not the best marriage and this is where the misplaced priority starts. Try to keep track of what’s coming in financially as a pre-wedding gift and what’s going out as expense. The wedding is just a day, marriage is supposed to be for eternity. Cut down on bogus spending, don’t spend too much on things you would not use or need after that day, outsource is you can. If you don’t need five-page boys and flower girls, of which use anyway just get one each or two at most. If you do not need seven bridesmaids or best, why not get two? why do you need to put unnecessary pressure on yourself to get them what to wear or to put pressure on people to get themselves what you want them to wear at your wedding?

3. TALK TO BOTH FAMILY: first, this is necessary, to let them know it’s your wedding and you guys are in charge, the type of wedding you want to have and most importantly your budgets and their invitees. Most times our parents will want to hijack our day, and filled the venue with their people; from the same village, town, district, school friends, church/mosques people, and area people. Yes! They will bring a few fowls and five gallons of palm oil but bear in mind, some you will even have to pay their transport fare back to where they are from. All of them will want to eat and take along too.

4. GIVE YOURSELF THE BEST TREAT: this is for both of you, get the dress or suit of your life, go to the saloon get pampered after all it a once in a lifetime thing. Spoil Yourself the body needs it after the stress of planning a wedding together, you will need to re-energize your body for the big day it is your money; well except the money was contributed for you which in that case you shouldn’t be getting married at all.

5. GET A GOOD DESIGNER/TAILOR: with most weddings now people will prefer to get their gowns designed or customized by home designers. This will enable the couples to contribute to the process, as opposed to going for ready-made wedding dresses and be faced with style and size problems. The key here is to know your designer, start early especially if he/she has to work for your entourage, be consistent, with what you want and your goals for the day, constantly check on them to avoid last-minute setbacks. There are some really good local designers that are good and experience with weddings and bridal couture-like Katie Beauty Touch by Keturah Chanika Harding and Hudson.

6. GET A PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP ARTIST: I have seen how makeup had gone horribly wrong on the wedding day in Salone. Sometimes you wonder if there was no one around these brides or what was the makeup artist thinking? Making a bride looks like a clown on her day. There are few amazing makeup artists in town, that are very good with their craft; in no particular order like Sheilaz Makeover, Beauty by lunique, Bilkis, Glamdiva beauty, and Esterline Touch.

7. PAY ATTENTION TO FOOD AND DRINKS: Make sure you get the best caterer in town, if not talk to your neighborhood aunty that can cook for Sierra Leone to help you out and reach out to various people who are experts in specific delicacies. Tell them exactly what you want and your expectations of their service. Don’t give unclear messages and draw clear lines. serve people hot and fresh food otherwise, you will be the topic of Whatsapp PVs and group chats, and focus on lots of alcoholic drinks as Salone people like to party, after party, after party.

8. PHOTO AND VIDEOGRAPHY: one thing you would not want is to look back at your pictures and realize part of your head or shoe is absent, or most of the cherishable moments were missed. How bad can it be? You may ask. This can be truly bad as these moments cannot be recaptured. They will be lost forever, you can only get blurry bits and pieces from people with techno and other low budget phones. Now don’t get me wrong these phones have helped a lot of people and they are nice. Anyway I digress, my point is to get a professional photographer or studios like Zoom, Envisage concept and the rest, to capture your timeless/ priceless moments you yourself aren’t aware of. That will bring a smile on your face in years to come.

9. GO STRICTLY BY INVITATION: we all know how we are with food as Salone people. So be sure to cater to those who you invite in terms of food, drinks, and seats. How embarrassing can it be to invite someone and him/her had to stand throughout your ceremony or guests having to go home without food or drink? Make sure a neutral person manned the entrance of your venue, with the idea of the invitation and it should be stated whether it’s a single invitation or double. In Sierra Leone, two hundred and fifty people mean five hundred people, get that and always multiply by two when it comes down to figures

10. VENUE: get a venue that is easily accessible for your invitees, give clear directions as we don’t use GPS here in Salone. people, most times are prep and dressy with heels so make sure you tell them prior if the wedding venue is on top of the highest mountain or hill in town or below the steepest valley. so they know what to do in terms of what to wear to avoid accidents and minor mishaps for Freetown mostly, as it can most times be these two because of the landscape.

11. ASK QUESTIONS: they will tell you to eat foofoo it’s tradition, please ask why do you need to eat foofoo? They will tell you you need something borrowed, please ask why do you need to borrow if you can afford to buy it? Don’t fall into any myth trap. If it not important or you do not feel strongly about it, please ignore it.

12. ENJOY YOURSELF: trust me if you do all this on the big day you will surely enjoy yourself and not be thinking about how you going to pay all those you took money from for the wedding. Dance, eat, drink and Merry don’t allow people to steal your spotlight, you have only that day so make the best of it.

@ dasalonetiti

http//:www.dasalonetiti.wordpress.comBlog at WordPress.com.

Jal’s Design

Today we have the opportunity to talk to the designer of all things Africana (Ankara). He went to St. Edwards Secondary School and he is currently a year two student at the East Freetown International College studying Procurement and Logistics. He is the Owner and founder of JAL’S DESIGN, Ibrahim Jalloh. You can contact him at 7 Sani Abacha Street opposite First International Bank (FIBank) or on his mobile phone on +23276119806 or +23234139990.

Ibrahim Jalloh in his own designs
He is the hand and brain 🧠 behind these amazing designs

He chose this field because from his early years he has always been creative, as he loves to explore and add his personal touches to everything to make it different. He was, however, drawn into the business side of it by his younger sister. His sister used to buy some items from a local artisan at the Victoria Park and resells them, but during the Ebola period business activities slowed down and she was going through constrains to get these items as most could not produce or decided to stay home, she could no longer get the items she wanted. So one day out of frustration she said to him why can’t you be making these items for me I will purchase the necessary raw materials you need since you are not doing anything currently. He initially didn’t want to do it out of fear, but his sister who believes in his talent encouraged him to try. She gave him all the confidence he needed, but when it comes to her investing in the raw materials she was no longer enthusiastic.

Patriotic t-shirt, bags, slippers by Jal’s Design
Happy clients in Jal’s design

So he took upon himself to start on his own and his sister was blown away. She was surprised to see his handwork was so good. She immediately joined him and that’s how Jal’s design started.

Africa our home and trust the process t-shirts by Jal’s
Backpack by Jal’s design

He is making customize contemporary t-shirt with logos and brand names using Africana (Ankara) wax and cotton, slippers, sandals for both men and women, shorts, bum bags, backpacks for children and adults, all types of hats, headbands and other accessories.

T-shirts, bags, and headband by Jal’s
More backpack with beautiful africana wax

His business has been supporting him over the years as he is independent now and does not rely on hand out from people. His business has been a source of financial help and this has led to validate his belief that we all have the power to change our circumstances. Owing to the fact that he is now able to provide for himself, he is using his knowledge, skills, and platform to empower other Sierra Leoneans. He is currently training over ten young people with his artistry and has created jobs for five others as he alone cannot do all the work.

Bum bags, hats, and slippers/sandals for men by Jal’s

Most of the downside of his business is access to material, especially the hollandaise wax, cotton, and woodin which he uses most of the time. As we all know Sierra Leone is a small market so suppliers most times bring a few pieces of specific designs. Therefore, if you create something out of such material after the first production you cannot find the same material anymore and clients will keep asking for that specific material design. Another constraint is the frequent rise in prices of goods and materials used in production, which can directly lead to an increase in the cost to the client.

Modeling Jal’s designs
T-shirts and waist bags with client names

In the near future, he wishes to build the appropriate networks and distribution channels for his craft. Get the right connections to be producing and exporting his craft to the rest of the world. He wants to be able to create as much impact as possible, train and influence other youth positively. He wants Jal’s Design to be a household name and a leading brand in the creative fashion industry in Sierra Leone.

Happy clients
Casual slippers for both sexes by Jal’s

His wise words for the youth of this nation is that they should not be discouraged if they are not cut out for the mainstream educational system. They should take advantage of the technical, vocational and skills learning system formally or informally that will help them sustain their lives economically. It is very obvious that the government cannot meet the employment demands of this country. So, it’s about time as youths of this country to look for alternative means of employment, which is entrepreneurship.

Client’s and Models of Jal’s
Sandals for women by Jal’s

So there you go readers, you heard of him first here@dasalonetiti_ryhima. I can honestly confirm that he is one of the best we have when it comes to creative designs. Try him, support small business and support local content. He is open to partnership with Sierra Leoneans entrepreneurs within the industry at home and the diaspora, as only Sierra Leoneans can build Sierra Leone.

Beautiful ready to wear slippers for women
Beautiful African slippers for men

©@dasalonetiti_Rahyma

https://www.dasalonetiti.wordpress.com

https://www.dasalonetiti.com

Bee

Is it the heart beating faster when I hear your voice? Is it the ache in my heart and the lump in my throat, or the numbness when I miss him? Is it the skipping of heartbeats and the smile on my face when my phone rings and it’s him calling? Is it the soft stroke of his hands on my face as he tries to caresses or teases me? The whispers of sweet “I love you’s” in my ears, like a melody to my heart, warm breath from his slow breathing causing unending sensations.

Is it the holding of hands, exchange of stares, two eyes lock-in trance and the shy look aways? Like a kid caught stealing candy. Is it the cuddle, smooches, and goodnight forehead kisses when we are together in our own little world we created just for us, free of other human judgment and interventions.

Is it the sharing of t-shirts, the arguments, fussing, fighting, shouting and nagging over everything and nothing. The attitude of not wanting to talk or just us wanting to be in our own spaces, in our own world. Well, I’ve got news for you, you are not going to get rid of me easily, I am going to be in your face and space forever.

You are imperfect but so am I, two imperfections striving to be better, learning from each other every day, helping each other as we move along in this thing called marriage. We know we are humans, and I have seen first hand the conscious effort you are making to be a better person, a better husband, and father but we both have learned over this period to embrace all of each other. I have learned to communicate my feelings more since I used to just bottle them up and explode like a ticking time bomb. It amazing how totally different we are as people yet we complement each other in so many ways.

You are my big gift-wrapped perfectly with a bow on it. God gave you to me and for that I am grateful. He does not make mistakes. You are my best friend, my provider, protector, you guard me jealously which can sometimes be annoying, my mentor, my muse, my favorite human, my editor, my cheerleader, my motivation, the one who sees me at my worse and best and judged me😂😂😂. I love you forever my male version👄😍

SALONE WI ALL FAMBUL

SALONE WI ALL FAMBUL
In the early hours of the morning
Yes! You will hear the cock crows
The arzaan of the nearest mosque will be calling
As if that is not enough,
Your neighbor sheik will be shouting salaat! Salaat!
By your window, grap make you go pray he would say, as if he is talking to you directly.
You don’t know when you will die. But the shiek is my mother’s brother’s cousin ar bin tell una say salone wi all fambul

SALONE WI ALL FAMBUL
The Mamie will tie her bum bag
Tight around her waist we call it orjah
Carry her bamboo basket on her head, yes e make the kata
Basket weave with our river line scrubs
As she got to the junction all she could hear was
Eastern police! Eastern police! Ar nor get change ooo
Apprentice, can you please move aside ar wan enter, I am late already the lady with the suit says, dovecut go don fulup d mamie mention, hope  today will be a better day for me the other man said with a sigh. Dis driver na wan woman wey wi komot na d same village ein pekin e marred. Salone wi all fambul yah

SALONE WI ALL FAMBUL
Six o’clock everybody is out, street is packed full
With traders hustling whatever goods they have for the day.
It is too crowdy here, that man has just been pick pocketed, aaaa yah make ar go ba make dem nor cam cors mi
That lady’s phone had been snatched she was slapped too
I can’t find my lunch the school girl cried, how will I even get home. Five O borbor dem and clique guys are at work.
Can anybody hear anything at Abacha street, musics, megaphones with pre-recorded adverts, hey girlfriend, fine girl, baby na Facebook, d Mamie na WhatsApp they called out to anyone passing.
If you touch their goods without buying, wondri buyer bo pass wit u bad luck. What can we do the street is full with our aunts and sisters, I told you earlier wi all fambul

SALONE WI ALL FAMBUL
Your nice neighbor has an occasion, she would go around
Informing every member or household in the community
me pekin de marred ooo
All will gather at their compound and na Awujor start so
No one will mind the loud music, d bachelor’s eve e swit oooo.
Our throats are dry they call for more alcoholic drink, we wan Jerry we yai
Your parent will be like, na Fatu ein pekin don married so
When will you marry, my daughter? Papa, I am still in school. D orkor n d yawo are long distance cousins, yes Salone wi all fambul

SALONE WI ALL FAMBUL
Every household should bring their own bowl ooo, ar nor get pan n na so me pan dem all don take loss
About to dish out this cassava leave, the jollof rice  will be kept for the guests.
No cook that day in the community.
Everyone will save that day’s chop money for life’s other troubles 
We will eat now, went to the wedding and still make wahala
If not given food, me dem nor serve me sef dem bin de look face
Meanwhile, Mamie Sallay had two black plastic bags filled with food
Yet, she sits as if she has not eaten or received any food. Hmmm, u know udat na me, na me pekin ein paddy ein cousin na ein marred so. Salone wi all fambul

SALONE WI ALL FAMBUL
The church closer to us had been singing and praying
Through the night; they did that, yes na all net dem get
They justify. Pa Morlai comes out of the house shirtless as he stretches from side to side
He said, whole net mi nor sleep sef, this church with their prayers
They grumbled but never report
They are Godly and they fear the wrath of God
That’s why when you ask them, how the body? they’ll reply tell God tenki
How for do? Na for bear normor make God bless we yah n bless Salone. That’s all he can say because his brother’s daughter is the head of the choir unit in the church. Salone wi all fambul

SALONE WI ALL FAMBUL
An elderly woman was passing by and saw her standing
In a corner with a boy, she came closer and even point her touch on their faces
As if to make sure, is that you with a man, she asks? Na pipul Pekin u de-squeeze na corner so
Let me go and inform your parents, 100 meters is too short for both of them
Obviously, she won’t report but will call and advice especially the girl
Pay attention in school, komot been man biznes e nor de pass
Next time I won’t hesitate to tell your parents, da borbor de na me paddy ein paddy ein pekin n e nor serious wan
When did we lose this again? Wi all fambul

SALONE WI ALL FAMBUL
Mama Loko Limba falls in love with papa Sherbro Krio
Awor! They gave birth to united nations, which one should I identify as again?
No matter what region and tribe you are from
We are all related, wi all na wan as granny kin say
Even our relatives in the diaspora will say na me Salone Broda
Salone blood nor de hide, we love to party and have a good time
Is it paddle time yet? Or lantern? we may fight, we may argue
Mostly when these politicians try to divide us for their own gain
But as our wise people will say fambul tick de bend but nor de broke
Yes! Salone wi all fambul.

©dasalonetiti_Rahyma

http://www.dasalonetiti.wordpress.com

http://www.dasalonetiti.com

The Art of Life(the painter) by Rahima Vandy Kargbo🖼🎨🏜

Mr. Painter paints a life, a baby innocent and free of the world’s troubles, shameless adult, the body shame the chubbiness of thighs and arms. Can you please airbrush this baby, he is not cute, they called out behind them. Oh, in the presence of outsiders they smile and make funny faces, and say oh what a cutie cute baby, how hypocritical? Let their childhood produce the effect of fine lines and a wide sweep. Forcing kisses on their cheeks soak in saliva and a mixture and remnants of whatever they last ate. Life shows itself to us but funny how we cannot make sense of any of it.

Sierra Leonean painting

Mr. painter paints a life, a teenager whose life’s line is not straight. deep voice, big bones, broad chest clearer features. Ooh yeah, breast round like calabash, don’t be in awe the gods approved. please highlight the shapes, waist with a curve that will get you dizzy quickly like new and pure palm wine. Rebellion at its best; what makes you think you’ve grown? Just add texture and the don’ts become dos, dos become don’ts. it’s all hormones uncontrollable a phase and this too shall pass. The taboos, the rush, you think you are all that, right? Yes, you are all that but you are even more just allow the process of time, as everything has a place in time, ask history.

Painting By Gibril Bangura

Mr. Painter paints a life, as an adult faces a life of hardships and torment, haunted by the past, complicated relationships. Yes! Heard it’s a status now in the virtual world. Does it even exist? A utopia of what life really used to be.hmmm more time for the less important and less time for more important. Just how karma has shown us our parents’ love and sacrifice. Society had planned a path that which if not taken, your journey is truly not successful. Unnecessary pressures our shoulders to bear. How life can be nice and mean at the same time and showed up when we least expect. They call it the Wakanda generation nothing seems real but we hold it in high esteem because it creates a false spirit of unison.

Painting By Gibril Bangura

Mr. Painter paints a life, as an old fella! Life has snatched the youths away, the strength, oh how frail and weak. Oil paint all the what-ifs, doubts, and regrets. You hear them say; I could have love harder, run faster, eat slower, exercise more, buy that dress, buy that car, build that house, married the woman or man of my dreams, spent more time with the children, the family. We have all the time or where did it go? An illusion of what seems to be time. How materialistic and vain the human mind can be. Paint how truly short this life could be, what’s borrowed can be taken when we least expect. Please paint my life, give them colors, make it vibrant as a rainbow. Don’t let them know how miserable it was, ain’t we all putting up a front? Give it the life I did not have. Make it a masterpiece not fit for the museum and the gallery, its too priceless. Paint me

@dasalonetiti

http://www.dasalonetiti.wordpress.com

http://www.dasalonetiti.com

ZaraLiz Kaftan Making Waves in the Fashion Industry✂

Style and confidence requires knowing yourself and wearing what you feel best in
Ariel Kaye

Today we are hitting the streets with an ambitious young woman who is currently making waves in the fashion industry. She is into everything plus size and her hope is to create something out of her imagination for them and to help build their confidence. Facebook@zaralizkaftan, Instagram@zaralizkaftan or call her on +23278646080

Models in Zaralizkaftan

Dasalonetiti: Give readers a brief background of yourself.

Zara: I am Elizabeth Zara Sesay, who was born and raised in Wilberforce, Freetown. Coming from a nuclear family, my mom pass away when I was just fourteen and those were the worst days in my life. I was able to grieve and move past the pain of losing her, though it wasn’t easy. I decided to use my time and energy wisely afterward.

Zaraliz
Zaraliz in her own designs

Dasalonetiti: Why Fashion designing for you?

Zara: I chose fashion because of my passion for it. We had a sewing machine at home from which I have learned the basics of doing stitches and patchwork. One day I sat down thinking of what next to do as the business I was into did not work well for me. Let me talk about that a bit. I was into traveling out of the country and buying clothing and accessories which I would bring home and sell on cash and credit basis, but as we all know some of the issues with that sort of business, most of my capital was in the hands of people, which was very challenging to recover and I lost most of my money. Now back to why I choose fashion designing. I was thinking about what next to do with my life after my business went bad. I knew I wanted to be a designer, I have always loved designing but wanted to go get some basic education in some vocational institute or someplace else. I told my friends about it and they laugh me off; saying I should get prepared to be an errand girl for the bosses or masters. The thought of me going for the skill training was too amusing for them. One day a sister of mine, that is living abroad sends me a photo of something she wants me to get for her. I was too embarrassed to let her know I was broke and could not afford to send her that piece. I was able to raise some money so I went to town and bought the fabric, I went home but was too scared to spoil her fabric so I decided to try it on something I owned. I get on to YouTube and downloaded how to cut a piece of fabric for a kaftan design and the rest is history they say.

Smiling clients posing for picture

Dasalonetiti: How did the name come about?

Zara: Well my brand name is basically me, as it is a combination of my middle and first names. Liz is short for Elizabeth, the kaftan, for me is a reminder of where I started, Kaftan was the first thing I ever design that why I added that to my brand name ZARALIZ KAFTAN.

Trendy kaftan
All smiles in Zaralizkaftan

Dasalonetiti: What are some of the things your brand is known for?

Zara: I am into designing kaftans, kimonos, palazzo pants, blazers and suits for women.

Happy client posing
A client sitting pretty in Zaraliz

Dasalonetiti: what is your favorite part of being a designer?

Zara: shopping for great fabrics, blending vibrant colors and seeing the finished product on happy clients are my favorite parts of my job.

Dasalonetiti: what are some of your lows?

Zara: Some of the downside of this business from my experience had been some people putting orders with you for a week, sometimes as long as a month and not paying anything. Another one for me is that people do send you a picture or idea of what they want and after designing it, they will return and complain that it is not what they ask for. But I know it comes with the territory and if there is one virtue I have been amazingly doing well at is patience. I thank God for my clients though, they had been good and keeping me busy.

Hot pink and black kimono

Dasalonetiti: where do you see your business in the near future?

Zara: In the next few years, I see myself growing and enlarging my customer base. Opening a designing school is a long term dream of mine, teaching young people the skills and art of making kaftan is the ultimate plan.

Mother and daughter in zaraliz

Dasalonetiti: Give us a few names of the designers you admire both locally and internationally.

Zara: Locally I will say Jenneh Amara Bangalie, Sai Sankoh, Abdel Mumini and Kadiatu Kamara. Internationally I admire Marc Jacobs, Elizabeth Arden, and Kate Spady.

Dasalonetiti: Tell readers one pet peeve of yours.

Zara: I hate when someone chews gum loudly especially in public.

A satisfied client

Dasalonetiti: What’s your advice to young Sierra Leoneans?

Zara: My advice to young people especially those who want to enter the fashion industry is to stay calm and be ready to put the hard work. They should try to look for what they are better at in the industry and focus on that particular stuff and create a niche as the fashion industry is a huge one.

Kaftans for your casual outings

I hope we all are inspired by her story. She started with just one sewing machine now she has four and had created employment for two others. The youth of Sierra Leone just be committed to whatever you are doing now, with hard work and dedication it will pay off in due time. ✌peace

#itisthesierraleonewayornowayatall#

http://www.dasalonetiti.wordpress.com

http://www.dasalonetiti.com

Bringing Sierra Leone to the USA Fempreneur Fatime Explains.

It important we take Sierra Leone with us, where ever we may find ourselves. Let allow Sierra Leone to shine through us. Let it be the glow that lights our path as we find our way in the universe. @dasalonetitiquote

This week we are looking at a young woman in the United States making strides in building the image of Sierra Leone through clothing, fashion, and other accessories from sierra leone and other parts of Africa. We had an interview with her and we are excited to share it with you. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. You can reach her on https://www.etsy.com/shop/Leoneculture Facebook/Instagram/Twitter@LeoneCulture

Owner and Founder of LEONE CULTURE

Dasalonetiti- Tell readers about yourself.

Fatime: My name is Isata Fatime Gbakamara, I was born and raised in Sierra Leone West Africa. I travel to the United States at age sixteen. Went to high school and graduated in 2012. Enroll in a two years community college right after high school for an associate degree in health science. I started my career in healthcare with a big company in Virginia that provides internship training for new graduates. I had the opportunity to brush up my skills and was offered a job within the first week of my training. As a new employee I was excited because the company had so many opportunities for growth and scholarship programs for staff that want to continue their education.

African accessories

Dasalonetiti- Tell us about your life as a nurse?

Fatime; I enjoy working as a nurse. It’s giving me the chance to make a change in someone’s life and create wonderful relationships as well with patients, coworkers, and families of patients.

Dasalonetiti- what brings about the thought of entrepreneurship?

Fatime: Five years into my career as a nurse I met my husband Vincent Philip Ames. He is intelligent and career-oriented, always looking for ways we can improve our careers and lives. He had a collection of books about business especially ones that talked about becoming your own boss. I picked up my first book from his collection and I have never stopped reading. After three reads of different books, I grew interested in doing business. Some months into our courtship, he was willing to share his passion for business with me. It was an eye-opening experience because he has so many great ideas and he self-educated himself on many things. He was also part of an organization called the World Financial Group. He took me to one of their meetings, giving me the platform to meet with wonderful people, young entrepreneurs that are making millions of dollars not working a nine-to-five job. They own their businesses and schedules. At that point, my mindset changed.

Gara Tie Dye from Sierra Leone

Dasalonetiti – how did Leone Culture came about?

Fatime: On our way home from that meeting. We discuss what I learned from the sessions. But there was a change in life situation for us when we have to relocate to Florida. That process of moving stalled us a bit. Upon getting to Florida, we both attended our first business meeting in Miami Florida, 10x by Grant Cardone ” Powerful tool”. At the end of the conference, we got back on the road from Miami Florida to Pensacola Florida which was a nine-hour drive. We talked about different business options and business names, and that, eventually help me to figure out what type of business I would like to embark on. That’s how LEONE CULTURE was born. I wanted to give back to my country by helping our local artisans. After we locked down the business name that same week, my sister, who is also part of the business, Zainab Sandi introduces two business ideas to me. We ended up going with the first idea which we thought was great and bought our first product from Sierra Leone.

Neck piece handmade by her Sisters in Sierra Leone Bintu & Zainab

Dasalonetiti- How is Leone Culture doing sales wise?

Fatime: Well we can’t complain. Our first inventory from sierra leone sold out in a week. Mostly our buyers were family and friends. More orders keep coming in and we took the next step by opening an Esty Shop and get on all social media platforms. This venture was the scariest of them all for me. As there are so many ads about buying all sorts of things online. How would I survive? Was all I could think of, but I did not let it weigh me down. I started doing research about, who are my competitors. I realized each of them is fully established with a massive following, eye-catching products, perfect pictures, so many positive reviews in their comment sections. ‘I don’t stand a chance’ I said to my self. I started educating myself about advertisements and other details I needed if I should survive in this business. My husband decided to take photography courses, while my Sister in Sierra Leone Zainab Sandi was meeting artisans in Freetown and gathering more information about their products.

Fatime Isata Gba Kamara
Handmade Bags and Purse from Sierra Leone

Dasalonetiti- What are some of the Ups and down so far in the business?

Fatime: When we first made our social media appearance our sales initially went down and I kept wondering what was the problem because I was doing everything possible to get a kickstart on sales through social media. The thought of giving up came creeping in my mind. I decided to replace all these negative thoughts with positive proclamation over my business, by doing the self-talk like Leone Culture will rise to the top. I put my worries in prayers, follow a lot of business account on social media. Study their roadmap from their beginnings to where they are now. Within three months of being on social media, we receive our first sales. We started gaining more followers, messages started coming in about prices and shipping. We are on our way and will continue the hard work until Leone Culture is recognized the world over. That’s how big our dream is.

Ear pieces by Leone Culture

Dasalonetiti- What’s your advice for fellow Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora and at home?

Fatime: ”My advice to fellow Sierra Leoneans is to never give up on ourselves and our country. Let learn to work together and help support one another. Let not allow negativity to become the center of our lives, our story, and our journey to rebrand Sierra Leone. Negativity is what hurting our beloved nation’s performance and drive to go forward. If we as Sierra Leoneans make this commitment to work hard and become champions of helping one another, we would set something powerful in motion and Sierra Leone will rise again”.

Dasalonetiti- Share one of your guilty pleasure with readers.

Fatime: My guilty pleasure is me wanting to keep all the beautiful jewelry and neckpieces for myself (laugh)

Fellow Sierra Leoneans and readers, we have heard from the CEO of Leone Culture, who is flying the Sierra Leone flag in the USA. At the end we have no excuse, you can be anywhere and lift the flag high. Change starts with ourselves. Please if you are in the United States and want items and accessories from Sierra Leone please contact her and get the total Salone experience.@ dasalonetiti

#itsdasalonewayornowayatall#

http//:www.dasalonetiti.wordpress.com

http//:www.dasalonetiti.com