I am Liberian born, worldly raised, fashion impacted, and an evolving culture enthusiast. Due to the civil war in Liberia, my family left Liberia, resided in Europe, and moved to the United States. At the age of 9, I got my first dose of travel experience to Accra, Ghana. Since then my obsession with traveling has led to my constant itch to see and experience new worlds. Which in turn led to hearing stories of unknown inventors from random strangers, constantly hoping the TaTa(bus) will make it to my destination around Africa, roaming European cities nostalgically, acknowledging the fascinating glare in Asian markets, and riveting at the similarities found in South American cuisine and my own. Unfortunately and fortunate, through my travels I witnessed firsthand the dire situations young people were subjected to. However, after my travels, I could easily retreat to my solace in Minnesota and go about my life as usual. Witnessing the economic inequality facing talented youth, led me to Liberia and the catalyst that led to the creation of ARWAY.
ARWAY..."Mua Nah"( KRU Language) translates as: Beautiful...."It's Me". The ARWAY Bags experience started in 2018, however, ARWAY has been inspiring sustainable economic driven endeavors through collaboration with young artistic Liberians since 2012. ARWAY uses Art as a vehicle for social change. The sole objective is to engage Liberian youth in the Art sector; thereby encouraging collaboration with Liberian Artists to create appealing products. The end goal is to create beneficial economic opportunities for all involved while enhancing skills.
ARWAY bags are made from the finest West African Ankara and cow/sheep hide (leather), to ensure durability. We handpick cloths, skins, and wood that make our bags and accessories unique. Since the beginning of time Africans live of the land, we cannot stray from tradition, but find means of helping our tribes keep with tradition. Thus, we buy skins directly from local hunters, contributing to their livelihoods. We believe it is important Liberia continues to maintain a low carbon emission record; we strive to use materials that were produced locally or recycled when feasible.
ARWAY produces treasures we hope allows you to express who you are while creating economic opportunities for youth striving daily to persevere. By using your consumer power to express who you are, you are adding a drop of water to a bucket.......you make a difference in the life of a Liberian youth, their family, and their community. Thank you for impacting lives!
Meet Your Makers
ARWAY collections are inspired by the three tribal groups (Mande, Mel, and Kru) individuals in Liberia, and the authenticity of their traditions. Each item is uniquely designed in the bliss of the night or the wee hours of the mornings. Once completed, our Designer maneuver to different parts of Monrovia to meet with our various Artists. As our designs are unique, every component is designed to ensure each Artist utilizes his/her skills, additionally, ALL can benefit economically. She starts her journey with the Bag Makers, after hours of adding and subtracting they conclude. She skids over to the Wood Carver with stencils and patterns, he carefully carves out each stencil. In between, she talks to the Painter, Vendors, BAs, etc. After a few weeks, our products are at your disposal. Thanks to……….
A protege of a Liberia fashionista, he has effectively grasped the art of threading in all aspects. He believes it is a calling, and hope to someday own a fashion house.
"He was born to be an artist," said a colleague. Frank started drawing at an early age. He is known to be one of the best Artists in Liberia. He is currently working at Heritage newspaper, and freelance when the calling is right.
From a young age, Konneh's' father taught him the art of woodcarving. Over the years Konah has mastered the art, and currently, utilizes his skill to carve several items using various wood originating from West Africa.
"My father inspired me to become a professional handbag maker. At the age of fifteen, I decided to perfect the art of bag making. Making bags is not just about earning a living, but leaving a legacy for my children to one day follow".
"The manifestation of an idea from theory to actuality are moments I cherish" Her passion for fashion and empowering youth who dare to be active dreamers inspires her daily.
What Are My Products Made Of?
Due to the scarcity of materials in Liberia and our passion to create eco-friendly products, ARWAY team avoids importing raw materials by using local materials or recycle items for finishing. Our materials come from all over Africa, but the majority is a source within the West African region. Our skins are source directly from local hunters. To know more about the raw materials, we use to make our bags and accessories, click on each listed item to see how they shape our products.Wood