What do bow ties and rural Uganda have in common? Well not much actually, up until a few months ago. In 2013, before they set about creating the most radical piece of cloth ever to adorn your neck, Brin Enterkin and Sydney Hulebak, two juggernauts of the entrepreneurial world, were joining forces in pursuit of economic development in Uganda by way of The Sponsorship of Orphans in Uganda Project, otherwise known as: The African SOUP. After three years of collaborating, an idea began to form. They combined Sydney's passion for fashion development with Brin's search for a sustainable model to holistically support the SOUP, and Lion's Thread was born.
Currently, Brin lives in Uganda, serving as CEO, while Sydney is stationed stateside, working as Creative Director. Together, they have fought to build and sustain an organization that will change the way you think about neckwear. About being bold. And, maybe even, about changing someone's circumstances.
WHAT WE DO
If you've never worn a bow tie before, hold onto your seat, because we've got news for you: life can be more than wearing thrift shop neckwear and getting chosen last in pickup basketball. There's a better way of living, your neck implores you. That's why we created Lion's Thread.
When it comes to our products, Lion's Thread prides itself on two features:
1. Employing only the finest Ugandan craftswomen and raw materials to manufacture our ties
2. Making you look incredibly dashing
It's a tall task, we know. That's why we use the highest quality, basically indestructible African cotton. These raw materials are then taken to our incredibly talented, artisan partners: some of the most dedicated, hardest-working women in East Africa. In fact, they only asked what a bow tie was after flawlessly sewing their first.
It’s okay to be impressed.
Here at Lion's Thread, we make bold ties for bold men, and we help out our local community in Uganda at the same time. Our tagline is "look good, do good," and we mean it. If you want a bow tie that will unleash rugged good looks on your neck and you have a heart for making a difference, look no further. We can help.
WHY WE DO IT: TYING IT ALL TOGETHER
We want Lion’s Thread products to enable a revolution of quality, global handmade goods originating in developing countries that make a statement about fashion and empowerment. Lion’s Thread seeks to empower female artisans in the Iganga and Nabikabala regions of Eastern Uganda by providing an avenue through which they can showcase their incredible talents to the rest of the world. We encourage our Ugandan partners to improve the quality of the goods they make in order to help them develop the vocational skills necessary to compete in an ever-expanding global marketplace.
In addition to career development, we also invest in financial education and training. As a part of this initiative, we assist with bank account applications, as well as, engaging the women in our cooperatives about successful ways to manage their new income through saving practices. Our hope is that in the future, they may start a venture of their own. Lion’s Thread isn’t about aid. It’s about access. These skillful women deserve the chance to have their talents both premiered and sought after.
The second tier of Lion’s Thread’s mission is to reinvest a percentage of our profits back into a local, educational non-profit called The African SOUP. The SOUP not only provides for the educational and emotional nourishment of over 350 at-risk kids in rural Uganda, but also works to improve educational curriculums in Ugandan school systems. The SOUP currently strives to implement lesson plans with an increased emphasis on creativity, ethical leadership, and critical thinking.
Overall, Lion’s Thread exists to empower people, by both crafting ties and wearing them.