The first Happy Baby Stitchery is opened with a launch event, as a big step our pilot program, taking place in Nkokonjeru, Central Uganda! After inviting everyone from the twelve neighbor villages through mobilizers, announcements from local radio and prayer places, the launch event hosted over 300 people. In addition to cutting the ribbon, Happy Baby Ambassadors initiated writing a song on the benefits of this new and comfortable Engozi (meaning baby carrier in Luganda) and performing a dance show with live percussion music.
Happy Baby Stitchery is a demo shop where local tailors are trained to make Happy Baby carriers, and where these carriers are sold in the community. So far we have four manual sewing machines used by four new graduate tailors, who are about to be the new Happy Baby Entrepreneurs. Another function of the stitchery is to host meetings related to baby carrying benefits or relevant trainings by Children in Africa Breastfeeding Support, our partner in Nkokonjeru.
When using high quality cotton fabric and fiber purchased in Kampala, the current sale price of one carrier is 18.000 UGX, which is about $7. In order to test the market, a lower cost version is produced using durable second hand fabric or new carrier orders can be taken with fabric brought by the customers. After getting a clear picture on preferences and the demand of the community, next step is to try out different payment methods, developed together with the families who have trouble affording a carrier. Let the sales begin!