Bead Makers

Global Mamas uses beads that are handcrafted by the Global Mamas Krobo Bead Cooperative from the small town of Odumase-Krobo in Ghana's Eastern Region. Here, many of the Krobo locals engage in making beads from their own homes. Bead making is a craft that has been passed down through the generations.
Global Mamas
Alex Odonokor "Happy" Sackey, a Global Mama since 2009

“Prosperity, to me, is being able to save money to build my house.”

 

Meet Happy: Happy began learning the family craft of beadmaking when she was eight years old and her family could no longer afford schooling. With more than two decades of experience, Happy is able to create beautiful and intricate beads, her favorite being the blue and green suns she makes for Global Mamas. Since Global Mamas recruited Happy at the local bead market, she has seen her business and life improve. She has been able to start building her own house and pay for schooling for her three children. On the weekends, Happy works on her beads and is part of the Community Bar, a group that cleans the community before church on Sunday mornings.

 

When asked what she would like to say to the women wearing her beads, Happy says, “I want to thank them for buying beads, and ask them to keep buying more if they like them.”

 

 
Barbara Tetteh, a Global Mama since 2009

Prosperity is wanting Global Mamas to stay: they help us a lot.”

 

Meet Barbara: Barbara has been selling her family's beads with her sister Victoria Angmore Narkie for more than 15 years. Barbara's market table is adorned with an amazing array of vibrant painted beads. Barbara appreciates how punctual Global Mamas is when paying for and picking up bead orders. Business from Global Mamas has increased her income by 40 percent, which helps her and her husband afford schooling for their two children. Barbara hopes that one day she can start her own bead shop and as well as a business separate from beads.

 

When asked about what she wants her customers abroad to know about her, Barbara says, "Selling beads is my family way: a tradition that has been passed down from my grandma to my mom and auntie to me.”

 

 
Comfort Amanor, a Global Mama since 2007

Prosperity is about my family—it means I can take care of them”

 

Meet Comfort: Comfort has been working with Global Mamas as a beadmaker since the Krobo site first began and is glad that she earns enough money for her beads to support her family. She has a son, Fausta, and a daughter, Mavis, and also cares for two nephews, Isaac and Juros, who are like sons to her. Comfort describes the beadmaking process and wants people to know how difficult it is: “We pound glass and heat it over a fire to create the beads, and we also search for grass and cassava stalks to make holes in the beads.” She says she’s proud that even as a woman, she has the physical strength to do this work.

 

To those who buy the products made from her beads, Comfort says, “May God help you to get more money so you can buy more jewelry and ornaments made from my beads!”

 

 
Edna Kwame, a Global Mama since 2007

“Prosperity means that I've been able to expand my business over the years and hire apprentices.”

 

Meet Edna: A longtime Global Mama, beadmaker Edna thinks a lot about the big picture. She’s pleased that she’s able to access such a big customer market for her beads through the Global Mamas website and that she is paid on time for her work. She’s also truly dedicated to the heritage of beadmaking, having learned from her mother when she was only five years old. These years of family tradition give Edna the ability to create beautifully painted beads, skills which she’s passing on to family members and apprentices.

 

When asked about her dreams for her three children, Edna says, “I hope that Kennedy, Ellen, and Benedicta will be well-educated and at the same time learn how to make beads.”

 

 
Elizabeth Kumah, a Global Mama since 2003

“Prosperity, to me, is when my business is growing.”

 

Meet Elizabeth: After being recruited by Global Mamas in the bead market, bead seller Elizabeth has seen her business expand. She is thankful for the reliable and regular orders that Global Mamas provides her. With her business expanding, Elizabeth now runs three large display tables in the local market and has seen her income increase significantly. She is proud that she is able to pay for the education of her four children and hopes that they do well and have a bright future. In her free time, Elizabeth loves to design beads and cook plantain stew.

 

When asked what she would like to tell the women wearing her beads, Elizabeth says, May God be with them, and may they have a long life and prosperity!

 

 
Emmanuel Ayertey Narh, Beadmaker

“Prosperity is seeing the shelves of my provisions store full, where before they were empty.”

 

Meet Emmanuel, a Global Papa since 2014: In addition to his beadmaking business, Emmanuel runs a provisions store. The biggest change in his life since becoming a beadmaker for Global Mamas is that he can invest more money in his store. With five children to support, Emmanuel appreciates that Global Mamas is a steady customer who pays on time. He’s hopeful for his children’s futures, saying that he wants to see them get an education, but understands that not everyone does well in school and that he’d be just as pleased for them to pursue a trade. When describing life with his wife and children, Emmanuel notes that his children help out at his business on Saturday and then attend church together on Sundays.

 

When asked about his dreams for the future, Emmanuel describes one that he’s partway to achieving: “Since joining Global Mamas, I’ve begun building a house on some property that we own.” 

 

 
Felicia “Mami Adjo” Adjo Otu, a Global Mama since 2011

“To be prosperous is to be happy.”

 

Meet Mami Adjo: Mami Adjo has been selling beads crafted by her siblings for more than 35 years. Holding up strands of colored seed beads, she explains the great skill required to produce such tiny beads. Mami Adjo’s business at the bead market—along with the money her husband makes as a farmer—supports four children, all of whom go to school or have completed their education. Without having gone to school herself, Mami Adjo wants to give her children the opportunities in life that she wasn’t able to have. She feels these opportunities are only possible with the support of Global Mamas.

 

When asked how working with Global Mamas is different her other customers at the bead market, Mami Adjo says, “It is hard to come by such honest customers.” 

 

 
Grace Joe, a Global Mama since 2007

“Prosperity is having some money in hand to use for health and for my family."

 

Meet Grace: When the Global Mamas volunteer who helped found the Krobo site approached Grace about creating and selling beads to Global Mamas, she and her beadmaker brother, Moses, both agreed.  Prior to making beads, Grace was a street seller, balancing heavy bowls of bread, peanuts, and sugar atop her head to earn money for beadmaking tools. Since working for Global Mamas, Grace and Moses have learned how to improve the quality of their beads. They are happy to work with Global Mamas because of the reliable pay and transparency behind pricing. Grace has two children, including Global Mamas Krobo site general manager, Gladys. Congratulations to Grace and Moses - the 2016 Global Mama and Papa of the year.

 

When asked how working with Global Mamas has changed their lives, they simply say, “Global Mamas really makes our livelihood better.”

 

 
Juliana Matey, a Global Mama since 2009

“Prosperity, to me, is expanding my business.”

 

Meet Juliana: Juliana is thankful for the opportunity to work with Global Mamas. She says, “Thank you for buying our beads. It helps not only me, but also my family.” A widowed mother of five, Juliana balanced motherhood and nursing for 17 years until she decided to follow her true passion of beadmaking and partnered with Global Mamas. Juliana’s management and customer service skills have brought her success and make her a good role model to the other Mamas. With the regular business that Global Mamas brings, Juliana now owns her own shop and financially supports a handful of people, with plans to help many others. 

 

When asked about her dreams for the future, Juliana says, “I love children, so I want to build a school for orphans. Education is very important for their future.” 

 

 
Victoria Angmore Narkie, a Global Mama since 2010

Because I work with Global Mamas, I can save money. That's what prosperity means to me.

 

Meet Victoria: Victoria has been selling her brother's beads with her sister Barbara Tetteh for more than 17 years, as it is her family's tradition that women sell beads made by the men. Victoria's market table displays her vast collection of multicolored beads. Victoria says that the large, reliable orders from Global Mamas have increased her income by 30 percent. Because of this additional income, she and her husband can send their children Lawrence, Sandra, Amanda, and Beauty to school.

 

When asked what she’d share with those who purchase products made from the beads she sells, Victoria says, Beads don't spoil. They last forever, so you should buy beaded items from Global Mamas!

 

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