A few years ago, while on a buying trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, we happened upon a couple of young men selling beautifully constructed leather bags. We were struck, not only by their talent, but by their gentle spirits and determination to carve out a better life for themselves and their families. We knew the work of Chernet and his brother, Sisay, belonged in the Hope Artisan Collective.
We are excited to be able to introduce you so, please, welcome Chernet!
Q: CHERNET, IT IS WONDERFUL TO TALK TO YOU AGAIN. TELL US HOW YOU LEARNED TO MAKE YOUR BEAUTIFUL LEATHER BAGS? EVEN THE NAME OF THE BUSINESS - DARAGO - IS BEAUTIFUL. WHERE DID IT COME FROM?
A: I learned fashion design at the University of Bahirdar. We named the company Darago because it is our grandfather s name. It means “going far” and we wanted to continue his legacy.
Q: HOW DO YOU CHOOSE A NEW DESIGN? DO YOU PULL THEM FROM YOUR IMAGINATION OR ARE THEY INSPIRED BY THINGS YOU SEE?
A: Most of the time we have a meeting and we brainstorm … try to come with designs that compliment the leather we have. If you look at our culture, we have many different colors. It helps us come up with many ideas of what we can do with leather. It’s like looking into your own imagination.
Q: TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY.
A: My name is Chernet Gebretsadik. I am the founder of Darago leather and textiles. I have three sisters and five brothers. I was raised by hard-working parents who taught persistence and consistency and who believed that hard work always pays off. My brother and I are working hard in this company to create a better life for ourselves and for our workers.
Q: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE A WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH HANDSPUN HOPE?
A: Since we share the same mission and goals, it has helped us to be more productive and to introduce ourselves to the public. We are concentrating on bettering our environment and try to help in any way we can.
Q: TELL US SOMETHING YOU LOVE ABOUT ADDIS ABABA THAT OUR READERS IN AMERICA MAY NOT KNOW.
A: What I love about Addis is the name - it means “new flower”. It’s refreshing and I love it! Addis has a lot of peoples from different part of Ethiopia and we live together in harmony and respect . Everyone is trying to make end meets. That’s life here and I am part of it and that’s why i love Addis.
Q: WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU SEE - IN YOUR OWN LIFE OR COMMUNITY - THAT GIVES YOU HOPE?
A: The thing that gives me hope in my life is God’s grace and seeing the lives of people changed for the better in my community, showing solidarity. Those thing gives me hope.
Thank you, Chernet. We are so happy to be able to bring awareness to your brand and to the people behind it.We love that Darago is a family business…and we LOVE their attention to detail! Each bag is carefully constructed by their gifted artisans.
Thank you, Chernet and Darago. And thank YOU, our hope-filled readers, for checking out this lovely brand.
Cheers to shopping for good!