Glocal Connection Gives Designers in Third-World Countries the Chance to Succeed
New company Glocal Connection works with struggling women to create profitable businesses based on gorgeous, high quality textile creations.
Breaking into the fashion industry is difficult enough for women with the education and resources they need to get noticed. But for poor women in third-world countries, it can be a nearly impossible feat. Despite being talented and hard working, many women in countries like Guatemala aren’t encouraged to live independent lives –let alone become entrepreneurs.
That’s where Glocal Connection steps in. The brainchild of fashion maven Yenifer Lam, the company aims to help women in poor countries by training them in everything from conceptualizing a product all the way to delivering it to consumers.
“I’ve spent 12 years in the business end of the fashion industry,” Lam told us in an exclusive interview. “I’ve traveled to different communities across the globe and they have so much to offer. When we arrived in Guatemala, the first country we’re working with, we found that these women already have a rich history with fashion and textiles. What they need is business development and empowerment, and Glocal is working to provide that for them.”
Despite still being in its early stages, the company has already caught the attention of Nolcha, a creative events agency based in New York City. The company holds a Fashion Week of its own (which, by the way, is totally unrelated to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week) that showcases independent designers each season. The Fall/Winter 2012 session runs from February 9-16, 2012.
“I watched Yenifer grow so much and I really felt that Nolcha Fashion Week would be a fitting platform for Glocal to gain exposure,” Kerry Bannigan, the CEO of Nolcha, told us. “It is important for Nolcha to support initiatives that empower women.”
Glocal’s collection, titled “coleccion by Kem Ajachel”, was presented among the participating brands on February 9, 2012 in New York City. Consisting of striking hand-woven cotton, rayon, and silk pieces in an array of colors, the collection was the result of the hard work and creativity of the women Glocal aided in Guatemala.
“This collection proves what these women are capable of,” Lam said. “The number one thing holding so many women back is a lack of education and limitations imposed upon them by their societies. But once you invest in them and tell them that they are capable, that they are knowledgeable, and that they can create these beautiful pieces, they become determined to succeed.”
But Lam’s work doesn’t end with Guatemala: she also has big plans to bring her business-development expertise to Morocco and India. Efforts are already underway to source talent from these countries. This year, Glocal hopes to establish new business communities as Lam plans her big move to Guatemala in April.
“We want to compete in the global markets and develop advanced marketing strategies,” Lam explained. “These intelligent, visionary women have changed my life and I’ve realized that this is what I want to do full time.”
While Glocal is on the hunt for professional women willing to “donate” periods of time to lead workshops in Guatemala, ladies everywhere can help by purchasing products on Glocal’s upcoming shopping tab and by heading over to Facebook to check out Glocal Connection’s page.
Intricate, high-quality creations that help talented women build businesses? We’ll take one of each, please!
Diana Denza is a regular contributor to BettyConfidential.