Amie loves playing ball games with her friends, and dreams of going to college to become a bank manager. In the meantime, she spends most of her time helping her parents out selling Sierra Leonean arts and crafts at their Lumley beach market stall in Freetown. We first noticed her keenly following us around the market, fascinated by what our designers were up to. Her sharp observation skills combined with a clear artistic bent led to her playful headbands being commissioned by As We Grow. Amie uses material off-cuts to cover a metal frame and – together with Guðrún from As We Grow – she adds cat ears to liven them up; the challenge being to ensure they are cat-like, not devil-like. Amie plans to buy books and new shoes for school with the money. We believe this to be a great investment for a future bank manager.
Masah grew up in Kabala. She has such a lively presence that we were led to believe that she was in charge of the Lumley Beach Market.
Masah was forced to drop out of school at the age of 15 when she fell pregnant with her eldest daughter Amie Julius. When Amie was one, Masah married her current husband who kindly adopted Amie as his own daughter and taught Masah to make jewelry. They moved to Freetown and started a business in the Lumley Beach Market.
The whole family, including Amie’s brother and baby sister – taking her first baby steps – is at the market everyday since for the time being it is also their home.
Mohamed is in his twenties and works at his uncle’s tailor shop in the Lumley Beach market. Mohamed’s parents separated when he was very young, and he was forced to live with his grandmother in Port Loko most of his earlier years. His uncle was concerned about his future and opportunities and therefore decided to take him along to Freetown when he was only 14 years old. There, his uncle taught him the art of tailoring and he has been working alongside him ever since.
In 2019 Mohamed is finishing his High School examinations, and his dream is to have a career in IT. With his calm manners and a sweet smile, he greets all possible customers that visit Lumley Beach Market as the tailoring business is helping him out to pay for his education and he is eager to be able to start further learning.
Osman is a quiet man of 37 years old. He grew up in Port Loko but moved to the diamond district of Kono as a teenager to try his luck at diamond mining.
War broke out a few years later, forcing him to flee to Freetown in 1996. Fortunately, he had a brother to tutor him in the trade of tailoring. Since 2003, Usman has worked independently as a tailor from his stall at the Lumley Beach Market. He is happily married and has two children.
Osman dreams of expanding his business and attracting more regular customers. Towards this goal, he has worked on various projects with our design teams.