One satchel at a time, a fashionable leather satchel is sending impoverished children in Africa, back to school.
— Move over Cambridge Satchel, the O’Bazzië Satchel is empowering an entire continent.
After losing a beloved grandmother due to lack of having financial support to bring her for better medical attention in the United States, Ebenezer Obasiolu, a Social Entrepreneurship graduate from Drury University, tapped into a hobby of sketching satchel bags; which became a passion and the passion became a mission, and the mission is to design a product that would not prevent unnecessary loss of a loved one, but also make a tangible difference among impoverished school children all over the world.
Originally hailing from Africa, the recent university graduate said he set his sights on designing fashionable products with an aim of equipping a generation of impoverished children in his home continent of Africa and around the developing world.
“What if using fashion to express oneself had a dual purpose? What if you could craft your very own signature statement while also creating education opportunities for a maturing generation? As a minimalistic fashion enthusiast, those were some of the questions I asked myself,“ Obasiolu, 22, said. “Losing my grandmother as a college student, and not being able to adequately provide her with the medical attention that she needed, supplied me with additional impetus to commence the mission of the O’Bazzië Satchel.
And so the idea for O’Bazzië Classics, a fashionable leather company that provides classroom materials to an impoverished child in Africa (starting in Burkina Faso and Nigeria) every time an O’Bazzië Satchel is purchased, was born.
“In creating the O’Bazzië Satchel, I wanted to design a simplistic bag with the perfect balance between originality and timeless. Obasiolu said. “It’s simple enough to garner the attention of people.”
To fund the mission, to the tune of $10,000, Obasiolu made an appeal, complete with a video, on kickstarter. The money started raining in.
“We reached our goal in less than 15 days,” he said, “and ended up almost doubling it by the end."
Armed with seasoned leather-smiths, O’Bazzië Classics is currently handling the first mass production of the O’Bazzië Satchel, and is fully equipped to mass produce over a thousand units. Obasiolu said he is open to supplying the O’Bazzië Satchels to major fashion retailers across North America, such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Aritzia, etc., in hope to positively affecting more children in need.
It is just exciting to see a product incorporate both fashion and humanitarian act into making a world of difference in Africa and around the world. Blake Mycoskie, of TOMS, would want to have a sit-down with Obasiolu and share some advice with the young social entrepreneur.
He said designing the O’Bazzië Satchel and sharing its mission with the world had been fulfilling for him.
“As a social entrepreneur, my goal is to successfully continue to use my story, firsthand life experiences, and my educational training to nurture product ideas into full-blown fruition,” Obasiolu said. “Products that will not only create a remarkable trend in the world of fashion but also become a signature for the improvement of life in regions of the world where it is needed the most, especially through educational advances.”
Video URL: http://vimeo.com/103679574
Release ID: 66434