The last few months have been a whirlwind. In August, my husband Charlie got offered a job in Nairobi. An exciting opportunity but so much to think about. What would it mean for Gather&See? Was it too much change for Edith, myself and my ever growing bump? Having become a mum it has been a huge challenge balancing both Gather&See and being mum to Edith - feeling at times I’m not doing a very good job of either. So when the job offer came through I suddenly panicked that it would all be too much. But if life has taught me anything, it is to always take opportunity and don’t let life get too comfortable!
So last month we packed our bags and headed out. It’s been chaotic, and at times extremely stressful - setting up home with a 15 month old, 6 months pregnant and husband starting a new job is no mean feat! Things have been made a lot easier with the help from my wonderful parents and some amazing friends who live in the city. There have been a few breakdowns along the way, not because we regret moving, but more to do with the vast logistics of finding a house, furniture, car, nursery, hospital for the birth - all while racing against my natural urge to nest.
So, why now? Ever since leaving Sierra Leone in 2014 - Charlie and I have been dreaming of heading back to the African continent – an urge that is difficult to shrug off. We had an amazing 4 years in London - close to our family and friends, having Edith and setting up Gather&See. Being part of such an exciting time in ethical fashion, with the growing awareness on the importance of sustainability has been a privilege. It is so exciting to be a part of the movement, working with brands that are hugely inspiring.
So what next? Being based in Nairobi, one of the most creative cities in Africa, feels like such a natural place to be. We already work with amazing brands coming out of this region and I know there is so much more to discover. With a growing textile industry and incredible talent it is going to be fun discovering more designers and brands. We enjoy great internet connection making it simple to continue to run the business with the added advantage of being closer to many of the brands we serve. Alicia has been an incredible support throughout the move and has really held the reins in the last month. And she’s about to have baby no 2 – so it has been an exhausting few months! I plan to fly back to London when I can but for now one half of Gather&See will be based in Kenya!
We are excited for the next chapter of our Gather&See journey and hope you are too. I look forward to sharing my inspirations from this thriving city and believe that this change will make Gather&See an even more global brand, fulfilling our mission to put ethical fashion centre stage.