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How We Work

Dignity at Every Touch Point

8 Questions with Liz Forkin Bohannon of Sseko Designs.

Article
How We Work

Dignity at Every Touch Point

8 Questions with Liz Forkin Bohannon of Sseko Designs.

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Sseko is an ethical fashion company that creates beautiful products with beautiful stories. The manufacturing of Sseko products enable bright young women in Uganda to attend university. The products are sold through a network of impact entrepreneurs across the U.S. called Sseko Fellows that are using their passion for ethical fashion and business to earn an income and make a positive impact for women across the globe.

Liz and her husband, Ben, are Praxis Fellows from the Business Accelerator, 2015. Learn more about their work, and see their pitch at the Praxis Finale, here.

1. Who’s in your Hall of Fame for entrepreneurs, and why?

Jacqueline Novogratz. I read “The Blue Sweater” while living in Uganda and it cracked my previously very bifurcated world view regarding business and philanthropy wide open.

2. At Praxis we say that as entrepreneurs, “We create from love.” Who are you loving through your venture?

We believe in “dignity at every touch point.” So hopefully we are loving everyone who interacts with our product in some way. From the hands who make it, to the ones who sell it, to the ones who wear it; we hope our products are actually an invitation to live life on purpose and for a purpose.

3. What’s the most important thing you looked for in hiring employees 2–4?

Someone who has a 10x vs. 10% spirit. They believe the world can be 10x better and that they can be an irreplaceable part of that evolution. To that end, they take personal responsibility for bringing their 10x ideas and hunger to execute them to the table because they want to build something epic for the collective good.

4. Entrepreneurs are always prototyping. What are you prototyping right now in your venture?

Well, my 2019 word of the year is FOCUS because I am always prototyping ALL THE THINGS. Right now I am major pro-typing around product strategy, culture building, distribution model and how to make my life work in a more sustainable way. So, just small things, really.

5. You’re asked to anchor an expert panel at the next Praxis Summit on a topic that has nothing to do with your venture or industry. What topic do you choose?

Owning Craigslist: How to finance your Interior Design habit FOR FREE. (Hint: It’s the Adult version of the youth group game Bigger and Better.)

6. Never mind the Enneagram: Chaos Muppet or Order Muppet?

HAHA. Chaos Muppet. Except for the eyebrows. Order Muppets had me at “monstrously large eyebrows.”

7. In “Essentialism” Greg McKeown talks about choosing what problem you want, so: what problem are you glad you get to work on right now?

Navigating committed, transparent “omni-channel” relationships. I’ve chosen to integrate nearly every part of my life and have very few boundaries between work, life, family, friends, etc. And to be honest, right now, the stickiness of a few of those crossovers are requiring a lot of work and energy. But it is absolutely work I choose to do because I believe that what is on the other side of an insane amount of communication and reconciliation is “The Really Good Stuff” and I don’t want to miss it.

8. #sabbathbrag: What do you do to rest?

Lego towers, Hungry Bear (uh, our colorful version of tag/wrestling) Fort-Making, eating ice cream in the bath, reading books and cuddling until we fall asleep with my Tiny Humans.

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