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Meet the Founder

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"All around us there are creators (especially minorities) making the most outstanding goods both edible and non edible with; No platform to showcase their craft, no seamless means of exchange and unsustainable packaging"   Lillian U Elenwoke [The Founder]

 

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A SHORT STORY…

Packaging has always been part of our Founder's DNA from when she was a young girl growing up in Lagos city, Nigeria; Giving gifts to loved ones in a plastic bag and still trying to make them look pretty and nicely packaged.

As she grew older, she started paying attention to good packages and bad packages; What made a good package? what made a packaging bad? How can a bad packaging be upgraded to become good or how can a good package become better?

 

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In 2018 while attending some of the biggest Trade shows like NY_NOW, National Stationery Show, Coterie, LUXE show she realized that there were so many unique goods from Small & Medium Enterprises all across the world but not a lot of minority brands featured at these events especially African brands.

She wanted to showcase some of the creators she encountered and their creations so she started interviewing and posting videos of some of the unique brands on the only platform she had at the time: her first blog (The Gift Advisory Blog) & her Instagram page. The more she went to these shows the more she realized that there were less than 5% of minority brands in general She interviewed the few minority brands she saw knowing she WANTED a platform.

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But after a few visits to other smaller trade shows and markets in the Tri-state area (NewYork/NewJersey/Connecticut) as well visits to West Africa (Ghana and Nigeria ) she knew she NEEDED an e-Commerce platform; Seeing the level of creativity and exceptional goods the artisans she encountered created.

 

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She attended a Trade With Africa summit in Bentonville, Arkansas in the summer of 2018 and SOLD OUT all the sample AMAI goods she took to showcase at the summit.

She got a lot of questions and potential buyers asking for more and she knew there was a demand for African Made, African Inspired goods as well as uncommon goods.

From further interactions with some of the artisans she also noticed a huge gap in the way they packaged their products especially with the high demand for eco-friendly goods and packaging.

 

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The MBisAfrican online platform is built to let these creators focus on creating the most amazing and unusual goods while our team provides the packaging solutions they need and the platform to sell their products and share their stories.

 

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“I am looking forward to seeing more minority products on shelves across the nation; Seeing a lot more products with prints, symbols and landscapes that remind us of the African continent!”   

Lillian Elenwoke (Founder MBIsAfrican/The Gift Advisory by MB)

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