17.6 C
Nairobi
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomebusinessSylvia Omina Otsieno: Redefining the Fashion Industry With Creatively Made Banana Fibre...

Sylvia Omina Otsieno: Redefining the Fashion Industry With Creatively Made Banana Fibre Jewelry, Accessories

Sylvia Omina Otsieno is the founder and creative director of Omina Otsieno, a sustainable fashion brand that specializes in clothing and crochet jewelry.

The company prides itself in making jewellery and fashion accessories from banana fiber, clay, reeds and bamboo and crochet yarn.

Over the years, Omina Otsieno has partnered with women weavers in different parts of the country to weave the banana fibres into exceptional jewelry using their traditional weaving process.

Here is her story as told by WoK.

Sylvia was born and raised between Nairobi and Busi counties.

Growing up in Busia saw her develop an interest in crafting thanks to her familial heritage of creativity and access to materials.

“I was immersed in a culture where crafting and creativity were integral parts of everyday life. I learned the art of crafting from my mother and grandparents, who themselves were skilled artisans,” she said.

Sylvia also noted that she set up the company as a way to address socioeconomic challenges faced by marginalized communities.

“As I became increasingly aware of the environmental challenges posed by traditional fashion practices, such as pollution and resource depletion, I felt compelled to pursue a more sustainable approach to fashion entrepreneurship,” she stated.

Additionally, the availability of raw materials presented her an opportunity to create eco-friendly jewellery whilst supporting the local community.

Entrepreneurship

After harvesting banana trunks from the farm, it is then stripped off individual layers, sheath by sheath from the stem, using a knife.

Thin strips are then made and boiled for easier removal of the fiber.

The fiber is dried under the sun before it is knitted together using a twisting and handcraft technique to create unique jewelry and accessories.

In an interview, Sylvia said that her company’s mission is to provide opportunities for women in rural communities while utilizing local resources.

“Through our jewelry production process, we not only sustain the environment but also empower women in rural Busia, where we train them in jewelry weaving for economic empowerment,” she said.

The company has also provided opportunities to other industries outside the farming sector.

“Our team includes skilled artisans and craftsmen who bring our designs to life with meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship,” Sylvia stated.

Challenges

Like other entrepreneurs, Sylvia has also had her fair share of challenges.

“Along the way, I faced numerous obstacles and setbacks, from sourcing materials to building a brand and navigating the complexities of running a business

“However, each challenge presented an opportunity for learning and growth, and I remained steadfast in my commitment to my vision,” she stated.