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March 02, 2017
This week’s #BORNATDAWNFOCUS is on Joanna Maiden, Founder of SOKO in Kenya. SOKO employs 50 members of staff and manufactures clothes in and eco factory in Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary in Kenya and keeps ethical and environmental issues at its heart with a focus on sustainability. It supplies many retailers including ASOS with it’s “Made in Kenya” (previously ASOS Africa) range.
In 2009, after working on consultancy design and project management projects in the fashion industry in London, Jo took a break for a holiday to Kenya. While she was there the idea and concept for SOKO was born and aged just 28, she went on a mission to launch the project.
We asked her a few questions about her life…
Why did you decide to set up SOKO?I set up SOKO because I felt passionate about creating a business that made beautiful clothes whilst also providing people with a secure, well paid job that helped them pull themselves out of poverty.
Describe yourself in 3 words?PassionateStubbornOn a mission
What makes you happy?Adventures, yoga, the sea and spending time with my husband and children.
Who and what inspires you?I am surrounded by so many amazing women who are trying to be the best mothers they can be whilst also running their own businesses. Respect!
How do you personally define success?Success is about being passionate about your work whilst maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
You are obviously very busy, how do you cope and manage to juggle it all?I've become much better at compartmentalising my life and trying to be present in the moment and not stress about all the things I haven't done.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?To know that if I'm not happy (in my work or personal life) that I have the power to change that.
What’s been your biggest lesson?To roll with whatever comes my way and not get too stressed.
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