Empowering Women

You know it’s going to be a good day when your biggest problem is figuring out how to successfully double fist your shopping bags and ice-cold beer. For those of you that have tried this, it’s not that easy—especially when the shopping (and the booze) is so tempting. The Beer Garden and ethical fashion company, Sseko Designs, recently joined forces to host the first-ever Women’s Empowerment Event at the Beer Garden at Shippan Landing on a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon in Stamford. Beer Garden Manager Lindsay Krupa and Independent Sseko Fellow Jessica Vivienzio helped to spearhead this special day at the end of June. The event focused on wellness, providing women-owned businesses and vendors the opportunity to showcase their products and services to the local community.

Sseko Designs enables high potential, talented young women in Uganda and Ethiopia to attend university by employing them to work for Sseko, creating handcrafted sandals, bags, jewelry, and other unique apparel during the nine-month gap between secondary school and university. During this time, they receive income and gain life skills and invaluable work experience. And the best part? At the end of their term, Sseko matches each woman’s savings 300 percent. To date, all graduates of Sseko have gone on to pursue higher education, allowing each and every woman to fulfill her dreams and leave her beautiful mark on the world.

“I am so grateful to both Lindsay and The Beer Garden for agreeing to partner with me to host such an amazing event,” comments Jessica. “My goal was to share the mission and impact of Sseko Designs with local people here in Stamford, and this event allowed us to do so much more. Not only were we able to share information about Sseko, but we also learned more about other amazing local, women-owned businesses.” As a dedicated Sseko Fellow, Jessica represents the brand by sharing its story and mission, as well as selling Sseko products through trunk shows and online.

Additional impactful vendors present at the event included:

  • YOGA 203: Community based yoga studio offering an inviting array of styles that welcome all levels.
  • Revive Center for Wellnes: In-person coaching, therapy, fitness classes, and more to support well-being and inner peace.
  • Angela Maione Beauty: The next generation of permanent makeup, from brows to lips, bridal makeup, and more.
  • Sheago Cosmetics: Food and plant-based products to nourish skin and hair with creams, radiance oils, shampoos, conditioners, hair butters, and soaps.(local consultants: Sherry D. Fields and Cyndra Couch)
  • Filigree Beaded Gifts: Beautiful, hand-made beaded gifts including pens, letter openers, wine stoppers, and trinket trays. (Joyce Tedford: 860.436.8258)
  • The Drunk Alpaca: Old-world recipes combined with local Connecticut beer. #eatbeer
  • Off the Wheaten Path Baked Goods: Specializing in gluten-free baking and French macarons—made fresh to order.

Local favorite food trucks and live music by acoustic folk/ rock band KISMET, featuring female vocalist Vanessa Bottazz, completed the day.

“One of Sseko’s core values is Community. Having the opportunity to share Sseko’s global impact in a beautiful setting by the water was incredible,” adds Jessica. “Every dollar of every purchase made directly impacts Sseko’s veteran and university-bound women in Uganda and Ethiopia. Each purchased Sseko product counts as a vote for women around the world to receive educational opportunities. I am incredibly thankful to Lindsay for believing in the values and offering such a great space to host this empowerment event.”

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