Mahlet Yohannes is the founder of the lifestyle brand, Silks of Sheba. She is an up-and-coming entrepreneur with a career background in aviation & hospitality industry.
Silks of Sheba is influenced by Mahlet’s many years of traveling across the world. “I immersed myself in the different cultures, languages, and experiences that I encountered throughout my career. In the past 10+ years, I have been lucky enough to visit more than 70 countries. This has been a wonderful way to see the world and become immersed in the design community” says Mahlet. She launched Silks of Sheba to celebrate her African heritage while empowering local artisan communities and supporting nonprofit charities that build water wells in rural Africa.
Silks of Sheba is a line that reflects an effortless sense of style that upholds the dynamic heritage and cultural background of Africa. As a completely female-driven company, she aims to contribute and support women. Women from all walks of life inspire her daily and wants to create stylish, diverse accessories suitable for versatile lifestyles. The scarves are a wearable work of art. Mahlet works closely with female artisans who each will design a limited edition, full of colorful metaphors, and each silk scarves has a story to tell.
Mahlet is a strong advocate for universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water set out by the U.N sustainable development goals (SDGs). And in the spirit of women helping women, a percentage of the proceeds are marked for donation to a pre-selected nonprofit organization that builds affordable water wells in rural Africa. Mahlet’s goal is to help communities, especially women and young children have access to clean water.
A conversation with Mahlet Yohannes about Silks of Sheba
Describe yourself as a creative and when did you decide exactly to create African inspired designs on luxurious silk scarves?
Silks of Sheba is influenced by my many years of traveling across the world in my aviation career. I immersed myself in the different cultures, languages, and experiences that I encountered throughout my career. In the past 10+ years, I have been lucky enough to visit more than 70 countries. This has been a wonderful way to see the world and become immersed in the design community. Silks of Sheba was created after i gave birth to my first child Malachi, and the month when the global pandemic was declared.
How do you manage the creativity process exactly as it’s really challenging in fashion industry?
I do a lot of research. I find my inspiration from nature, music, people. tradition and cultural events. collecting those inspiration, I sit with my creative team to turn them into design.
What is the most challenging issue in promoting your own fashion label ?
As a new comer into a competitive industry promoting our brand is a huge challenge. People instantly look into your social media followers instead of your products. Getting press coverage is a huge challenge for new brands; so we are focusing on creating attractive contents for our audience in order to meet our target audience & create brand awareness as much as possible.
What’s the main impact of social media in both ways, buying and brand marketing?
Social media is an excellent platform for both buying and brand marketing. Through visual content creation we were abel to come up with attractive contents that turns visitors of our page or website into clients. Social media platforms like club house have been an excellent tool for our brand marketing and driving traffic into our social media platforms.
Do you have any intention to expand your label in a different way and produce as well different kind of garment, not only scarves?
Yes, we are actually working on a clothing & bag collection for fall.
What do you think is the biggest challenge regarding your creative work?
At moment, we have not endured a lot of challenges but of course if we are abel to get funding we will be able to produce more, hire more women creatives to collaborate with and create exposure and employment opportunities for everyone.
Define the art concept nowadays in few words. Do you think this is very related to fashion industry?
Art is there to be deciphered like a riddle; yes it does relate to fashion. Fashion is art and its meaning accuses around personal responses, connection and reflections.
How do you think your label can play an important role in your daily client’s life?
Our client target market women. As a completely female-driven company. Women from all walks of life inspire me daily, and I want to create stylish, diverse accessories suitable for versatile lifestyles. The scarves are a wearable work of art and can be worn in different several way to complement our client’s look.
Imagine that you must write a letter to your FUTURE SELF. What would you write?
Live your life, travel, learn, take time for yourself and embrace whatever life brings.
DISCOVER MORE ABOUT SILKS OF SHEBA HERE: https://silksofsheba.com/