In episode 115, Kestrel welcomes Tomide Awe, the founder of Olori, to the show. A handbag line that incorporates traditional African textiles into modern designs, Olori was built with an intention to help women become actively involved in solving women-interest issues, especially with regard to education. 

"It's not about just donating money - we are not a charity organization, this is not a charitable affair for us. We are on a mission to build this network of future empowered women, and we wanted to ensure that the girls feel the full effect of every dollar that we spend." 
-Tomide Awe, Founder of Olori 


In this episode, Tomide shares more about her journey, and how growing up in Nigeria helped her realize the impact an education can have on women's lives. According to UNESCO, a girl in Nigeria has a 73% chance of not going to school. For Tomide, her mom helped to ensure she was able to get an education, and now she has multiple degrees. She wants to pay that forward to help give other young girls the opportunity to learn, grow and build their own future.

With each Olori bag purchased, a girl receives one month of education, in coordination with Olori's giving partner Bridge International Academies. One powerful element of Tomide's company is she's not just a charity and/or a business with a giving model. Instead, she has built a supply chain that supports women throughout the backstory of her products as well.

The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat:

  • Wharton, university where Tomide studied and received her Master's degree
  • "Nigeria is a country where a girl has a 73% chance of not going to school at all, according to UNESCO"
  • "About 9.5 million girls will never step foot in a school, compared to about 5 million boys [in Africa]."
  • "UNICEF says that mothers that have had some education are more than twice as likely to send their own children to school."
  • Bridge International Academies, Olori's nonprofit giving partner
  • Olori actually means "queen" in Tomide's language - the Yuruba language of Nigeria
  • Aso-oke: textiles used to make Olori's bags
  • "We strongly believe that when women support women, incredible things happen."

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