Tribe & Glory, A Brand Bringing Hope to Uganda

Sunday, November 19, 2017

I had the pleasure of interview the creators of Tribe and Glory at a recent Holiday market.  Tribe and Glory is a brand based in Uganda that helps impoverished women in the area create a business and have a source of income.  I loved the jewelry and the home goods items! Read on to learn more about the owners, Loren and Caragh and the brand!

Shalanda Turner (ST): Tell us about Tribe and Glory
Caragh Bennet (CB): Tribe and glory works in Uganda with women entrepreneurs who are living under the poverty line. The sales of our products and the production of our jewelry and home goods lines, supports the women in achieving their business dreams and their entrepreneurship goals.
ST: I love your accent! Where are you originally from?
CB: I’m originally from the UK but I live in Uganda now.
ST: And Loren where are you from?
Loren Thomas (LT): I’m originally from Houston and but I also live in Uganda now.

Creators of Tribe and Glory: Loren and Caragh
ST: What made you guys move to Uganda?
CB: Both of us had been back and forth since about 2011. We were involved in another organization ;that’s how we met. Loren was directing the Women’s Empowerment program under that organization. 
LT: It ended up that the Women’s Empowerment program became the shell of what is now Tribe and Glory. It was the start of it all and Caragh was there and has been there since the beginning. We had the opportunity to take it independent in the Summer of 2016. We jumped on board and loved the idea of expansion.

ST: How did you end up realizing the women of Uganda needed assistance?
CB: Both of us took gap years between high school and college. We were a couple of years apart but the both of us loved the idea of going to serve and learn and start understanding the different cultures. We were just totally captivated by the women’s stories, some of them just our age with 4 or 5 children. The absolute desire to support people spun out of that.

ST: What are some of the skill sets that the women need to have to create these items?
CB: During the manufacturing process the women in the workshop must take the raw material of the horns and sand it, boil it and put it through a treating process. All of that is before they get to the super delicate process of joining the brass and the horn. During the program of manufacturing they have an entrepreneurship curriculum. Each of the women have weekly sessions. We’ve had mentors from Oxford University and different places that are teaching the women. We want to have the best entrepreneurship curriculum for these women in the world.

ST: Where can we find these products?
CB:  Right now we are just selling online. We just launched our new website and we're offering free shipping.  We’re just excited to invite people into the story. 

ST: Tell us about the name, Tribe & Glory:
CB: The name is a couple of things. It’s better said in the words of one of our women, Fatima. She says the beauty of Tribe and Glory is that people are from different villages, different places,  different tribes all coming together and working towards the same goal together. They say their entrepreneurship business dreams are the same; stand together in solidarity, that they’re all in it together and they want to see each other succeed. We love the idea of them being able to stand up with self-confidence and be able to celebrate that they are now able to support their families. Some of them have kids attending school for the first time!

ST: Do the ladies come up with the designs for the products? 
LT: All of our paper beads, horn and brass products I’ve designed. These products over here [necklaces and bracelets] are all made out of recycled magazine and calendar paper. It’s all printed as a solid color on top, and each single bead is hand-rolled, then varnished and hung to dry. After drying, the beads are strung into our designs. The different styles of beads are made by the different widths and the way you cut the paper, so it’s all hand-rolled and recycled.

We are excited about our new line of home goods made out of recycled Angoli cattle horn and brass. It all starts as a giant horn that grows up to 8 to 10 feet, all ethnically sourced through the food byproduct industry. Every single product is boiled to cleanse it and then it’s sanded and varnished and cut into the products that you see here. It all goes through a very rigorous process of turning it from a big horn into a beautiful piece of jewelry. It’s really fun to see the processing of how it’s made to how it goes from a cow’s horn to a beautiful piece.

ST: Well these designs are great! Do you have a background in design?
LB: Yes and no. I studied retail merchandising at the University of Texas, so I have a little bit of retail background. Most of the design come from thinking of "What would I buy?" or how do I take a local industry, local product and turn it into something people would buy in the US. That’s mostly the inspiration behind all of the designs.

ST: How many collections do you guys do a year?
LB: We are really excited about the Capsule Collection model. It means that we can release different collections at a time. We’re not sure what direction we’ll take it in yet. We’re excited about this first selection. People are really excited about it and have been really interested. We anticipate doing multiple collections a year. But we’re just excited to see where it goes. It’s really cool because every single piece comes out completely different due to the natural grain of the horn, so while we have 5 products it doesn’t look like just 5 products.

ST: Is there anything else that you would like for my readers to know about Tribe & Glory?
LT: We love that the core of T+G is a belief in saying yes to things people would normally say no to.  We love the extraordinary dreams of the women we work with and hope that everyone who buys our products knows that they become part of our tribe of dream chasers and world changers. 

For more information on Tribe + Glory, please visit the following sites:

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