Kenyan Company Stands Out in Campaign to Revive American City

Members of the Bamburi Women Empowerment Center (left) and the city of Seattle in US.
Members of the Bamburi Women Empowerment Center (left) and the city of Seattle in US.

A Kenyan firm has stood out among the pioneer companies seeking to revive the city of Seattle in Washington State following a slow in market activities.

The company, Taswira, which is a fashion brand birthed in Kenya, took part in a unique programme dubbed Seattle Restored created by Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell.

The programme is aimed at connecting traders with shop owners of vacant storefronts in the city, especially in the neighbourhoods of Pioneer Square, Belltown, the Chinatown-International District and Westlake.

Taswira was among only 10 companies that participated in the walk organised for Saturday, April 9, under the programme.

A Bamburi basket valued at over Ksh8,900 from Taswira
A Bamburi basket valued at over Ksh8,900 from Taswira.

Seattle authorities also offered the small businesses Ksh288,000 (US$2,500) 'to help set up the space, as well as business support as they work to take their next steps.'

Speaking to the press, Taswira co-founder Avery Barnes noted that the programme had helped them stand out in offering exposure and recognition of their efforts.

"This has given me an opportunity to be able to share our message and gain recognition and find community," stated Barnes.

According to its website, Taswira, which was established by Barnes in association with the Bamburi Women's Empowerment Center in Kenya, was founded to educate, provide aid and protect vulnerable communities.

Its services include mentorship opportunities, workforce/business development, skills training and certificates and  digital services among others.

Some of their products are a Bamburi basket that retails for Ksh9,228 (US$80), Kenyan cooking stick worth Ksh6,921 (US$60) and a Taswira travel kit valued at Ksh14,418 (US$125).

"Made in Africa represents the effort to create sustainable collections through The Fashion House of Taswira, that tell a story behind empowering female entrepreneurship, economic prosperity, and global stability," reads a description of the company.

Seattle, a seaport city on the West Coast of the United State