Our History

Global Mamas Full Team: Staff, Artisans, Volunteers

A Community Based Initiative

Global Mamas was co-founded in 2003 as a non-profit organization aiming to transform the lives of women entrepreneurs in Ghana by helping them grow their businesses. Under the original name of "Women in Progress" batikers and seamstresses in the Cape Coast area were offered one-on-one consulting in business and financial management until six women said, “Listen, if you don’t help us find new markets for our textile products we aren’t going to need help with business management because there will be no businesses left to manage.” The small businesses owned and operated by these six women came together using the name Global Mamas to produce and export textile products under a common brand. Read more about Our Founders.

Prosperity for Women

Providing sustainable income generating opportunities for women continues to be the driving force behind our work—learn more here about why we choose to invest in this way. Each month Global Mamas is committed to providing orders to the Mamas, ensuring each small business is fairly and punctually paid for their high quality work. In addition to providing a steady source of revenue, our definition of prosperity encompasses wealth, health, AND happiness!  We support the Mamas' personal and professional growth by offering hands-on training in advanced technical skills, quality improvement, and creative design. Professional development opportunities in the areas of leadership, financial management, marketing and merchandising help the Mamas effectively manage their growing businesses and personal finances, while workshops in health and wellness promote physical well-being. We're able to accomplish these tremendously labor intensive capacity building activities thanks to the generously donated time and talent of some 400+ volunteers  that have traveled to work with us in Ghana since 2003. 

Our Handcrafted Goods

The original "Mamas" produced a limited selection of batik apparel and accessories in connection with our Cape Coast office, but today our catalog has grown to include hundreds of products created in six locations across Ghana. In addition to our distinctive hand batiked textile goods, we have expanded our model to include artisans working in the recycled glass bead and shea butter industries. What started with a few suitcases of product being sent across the ocean each year, has turned into 4 to 6 pallets of products traveling to our North American office for distribution each month. Though we still offer the home parties we initially used to sell our goods, we're now proud to partner with over 400 stores worldwide that help with distribution. From the very beginning we operated under the principles of fair trade, however we didn’t know there was a name for what we were doing until one of our volunteers suggested we join the Fair Trade Federation in 2005. We're now proud to be verified by the Fair Trade Federation as well as being Guaranteed Members of the World Fair Trade Organization.

People often ask us the secret to our success. There are so many individuals, ideas, and baby steps that have come together to make it possible. It has not been easy and there have been setbacks to be sure. But from the beginning we made a commitment to making the organization sustainable over the long term and have made every decision with that in mind. We believe that quality is critical and invest a tremendous amount of energy and resources in ensuring we exceed our customer’s expectations in this area. We share a love and passion for each other and we love the work that we do.

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