Imagine a world with no gifts, talents or skills. Gloomy, right? I believe our gifts are like diamonds, attractive in appearance and great in the value they carry. Our gifts connect us to greater things, things that are much bigger than who we are as individuals. Talents are our birth rights, manuals that help us to navigate through our life and coexist as human beings. In other words, talents and gifts are purposefully created not just for ourselves but to help those around us. Skills are what we can’t live without, we gain them for different reasons. Some people gain skills to secure jobs and promotions while some gain skills simply because they want to read a bedtime story to their children.
My name is Prisca Noel Waiganjo, I’m 24 years old and the local operations manager who sews… sometimes. I’m passionate and fascinated about gifts, talents and skills. They all have different meanings but they make us special. I’m constantly thinking about how I can improve my skills and use my talent to give back to the world. I believe these attributes are what connect me with Urban Change Lab. My mentor and founder of Urban Change Lab constantly keeps me on my toes with challenges that push me to be better and efficient in everything I do. Before I joined Urban Change Lab, I thought I had all the technical know-how, I rarely gave people the opportunity to correct my mistakes or teach me something new but being a member of UCL has taught me the importance of perspective and rational thinking.
I chose to work with UCL because it gave me an avenue where I could connect with artisans in different fields. Interacting with the artisans has helped me to learn the importance of efficiency in everything I do. For instance, as a young tailor, I never saw the importance of neat stitches, clean hems and a good finishing but monthly interactions with the artisans has changed my perspective. This has affected how I carry out quality checks before shipping, I’ve become alert to details. I honestly wish I could tone it down. Then again if I tone it down, you, as a client, will get less value for your money. Therefore, I embrace the keen attention to detail and pass it down to all artisans on the platform.
Artisans have always been put in a bracket that depict them as people with basic skills. A lot of people see artisans as people with no education and draw conclusions that they deserve low wages. Artisans are likely to fall prey to dodgy middlemen who overwork them and exploit them. I believe this is unfair, every artisan is capable of earning a decent income. I’ve had to put myself in every artisan’s shoe because if I was not part of Urban Change Lab, I’d be a full time tailor. I therefore want to make the market conducive for every artisan because at the end of the day it affects me too. I know how it feels like to work day and night on a piece of cloth only to get zero returns. I know the pain artisans go through when they invest money on ready to wear items which end up on their shelves for months covered in dust only because they don’t have the right avenues to market their skills.
I’m glad to be part of Urban Change Lab because it’s helping the world to change how it consumes. Through UCL, the world gets to understand that behind every bag, shoe or dress there’s a human connection. Our founder has created an amazing platform that basically kills two birds with one stone, both consumers and artisans fairly benefit. It is my wish that one day the world will fully embrace this platform and all the amazing people behind it.
Before I sign off, I’d like to thank the founder Jochen Baumeister for using his talents, gifts and skills for a purpose that is greater than himself. Cheers!