Hi there, I’m Viola Labi and I run Woven Worldwide, a socially-conscious home goods brand dedicated to creating premium-quality, handcrafted products for interior spaces.
I have just over 10 years of invaluable experience working in customer-centric leadership roles in major North American and European retail companies. I now enjoy working outdoors with skilled weavers, under the African sun, at the beginning of many supply chains. These various life experiences have connected in such a consistent and beautiful way.
Our Canadian team is comprised of individuals with cosmopolitan experiences, global networks, and a genuine heart for Africa's trajectory. We are culturally plural. We are the children of immigrants. We collectively hold reverence to Fashion's interaction with humanity; asserting that it permits people, irrespective of their cultural and social affiliations to unite.
Woven was born on a personal journey to Ghana in 2017. I witnessed my reunification to elements of Ghana's time-honoured traditions like Shea, textile, and basketry production at the diligent hands of skilled female Artisans. While submerged in these environments, and despite language barriers and unfamiliar grounds, I felt centred and at home. As I built relationships, these women started sharing their economic and social opportunities with me and to be honest, I didn't have the answers; so I just listened. Understanding each of their needs required me to remove unconscious biases about Africa, luxury and marginalized groups of people. I needed to see life from their reality. As we built relationships, I knew then I was called to partner with these women.
As I spent more time with these women, I also found myself being stitched together in areas I didn’t know needed mending; areas like identity, culture and purpose. These women were educating me about heritage, femininity and survival. Looking back, I guess you can say these women and I weaved symbolic exchanges of knowledge and cultural practices.
Although building this business wasn't intentional, it was written for my path. Now, by God's grace, I continue to create a brand that strives to make an impact on the lives of our first customer; the Artisan. For years—I developed skills, practiced my craft, and committed myself to build this business and the micro-businesses of the women Artisans that I serve. In unspoken ways, they each teach me about femininity, grace, and sustainability. Our connection is beyond the product and it's been a journey that I would embark upon again and again if given the chance.
In 2019, the company began partnerships with 5 basket weaving Artisans in Northern Ghana, while I spearheaded the opening of West Africa’s first Versace Collections mono boutique in Southern Ghana. Did I mention I loved the spontaneity this lifestyle demanded? Woven Worldwide has now grown our partnerships to 270 basket weavers between Southern/Northern Ghana. We are proud of how far we have come, yet opportunities remain for the collective agency of Artisans in Ghana.
During the week, you may find me on the field with Artisans, or working from our design studio with my current obsessions; coconut milk ice cream with a lemongrass diffuser on full blast.
Although the assortment of our products is woven by hand, the company name speaks of an ideology; a blend of skill sets acquired throughout my personal and professional experiences, the indigenous beauty of ancestral weaving techniques that Our Partners exemplify, and a higher purpose of coming together as Humanity.
Know that if you ever have questions about a product, our impact or anything at all—I'm only an email away. The very best to you and your family in 2022!
Woven Worldwide is a construction of diverse elements into one holistic and clear vision: A coming together of African culture with premium retail strategies to amplify handcrafted products by skilled Artisans.
Our vision is to weave domestic Artisanal micro-businesses and global brands together; much like weaving threads into a unique tapestry.
We partner to amplify these talented Artisans by forming partnerships with as many niche boutiques and large retailers as possible.
We are dedicated to creating premium-quality, handcrafted products
for interior spaces.
A Few Of Our Partners
If you are committed to partnering with a socially-conscious brand/supplier that understands ethics, quality and design, request a sell sheet.
Resilience Training Programme