Robin and the lost bag.
Sometime around 2010, Robin was gifted a striped leather and cotton drawstring bag from her Grandma, made somewhere in West Africa. She was hardly ever seen without this bag and she was routinely asked where they could be bought. One night in 2012, Robin went to check on a friend in a bar, leaving her handbag at a friend’s table.
When she came back, it was gone. Four years later, and inspired to recreate this beloved bag in 2016, the Sarep + Rose brand (founded as Sareptha Rose) was born.
The ethos of Sarep + Rose encompasses many things, but what is at our core is to preserve, promote, and ultimately invest in traditional African craftsmanship. We combine traditional handwoven textiles and traditional leatherworking skills with contemporary design to build the platform for these traditions to thrive.
Global. functional style.
Authentic, raw skill.
Our founder and our teams of leathersmiths travel around the continent searching for leathers and materials for these designs. They themselves have traveled from near and far to find opportunity in capital cities. Most of the leather is from Mali and Guinea, two of many countries in the region with rich and expansive cattle herding cultures.
An entire generation lost the fair opportunity to live up to their potential. In Liberia, the most common occupation that is open to everyone just trying to make it is to be an entrepreneur. From selling chewing gum, coconut pieces or bread to passengers in traffic, to owning restaurants and gas stations, people in Liberia are finding careers that don’t depend on the formal qualifications most were denied the chance to attain.
The traditional skills of the leatherworkers and textile weavers that produce your bags and shoes have stood directly in the face of adversity. These are skills that couldn’t be taken away by the ugliness of war and poverty.
These handmade accessories will travel with you for years to come. Via New York City, thank you for being here to become part of our journey too.