My husband had no idea what he was starting, sending me a link to a NYTimes article as he perused it online. Weeks later, I got around to opening it and discovered a remarkable story of two women who both worked in Kenya; had a dress custom made out of local fabric for traveling ease, and upon returning home, compliment after pleading compliment later, found that they had accidentally created the perfect dress. Friends and strangers were crazy for it. So, in a wild leap of faith, they returned to Kenya, found a group of sewing women and local limited-run fabric, and began Zuri.
From the Swahili word Mzuri, meaning all things Good, Zuri adopted their ethic, plain and simple: Good work. Good cloth. Good pay. Good - no - Perfect Dress.
I immediately fell for the zany fabrics, loved the one flattering cut they offer, and ordered a dress. I sent the link to Jamie and Marisa on the Ibu Team - I know how they love dresses. Within an hour, they had both ordered 5 between them. That’s the kind of reaction people have to Zuri. Love it. Want it. Wear it all the time.
When I wear one of my now multiple Zuri dresses around the country, unknown women approach me with a knowing smile and say . . . love your Zuri. The San Francisco Chronicle called it The Sisterhood of Zuri.
Marisa wasn’t satisfied to just enjoy these herself. She wrote to the two founders and asked who made their amazing dresses? Women of Wildlife Works, based in Kenya, they reported. A project creating good jobs for people who might otherwise have no options than to raid the environment, clear cut trees, etc. Marisa came to me conspiratorially. How about carrying a few at Ibu?
The wildfire response is an indication that the Zuri sisterhood is growing. Marisa and Jamie went to New York to meet these two founders and arranged to bring them to Charleston for a Trunk Show at Ibu. It’s TODAY!! We’re thrilled to bring these amazing dresses to Ibu, along with Zuri co-founder, Sandra Zhou, so that you can see in person how knock-out they really are. And if you're not in Charleston, check out the link below to see some on our website. Oh, and did I mention . . . the price is right.
I think you might just want to try out for the sisterhood of the traveling dress. But be prepared: you will be stopped everywhere you go. And they’ll want to hear the story behind the threads. As one stranger said to me when desperately asking for how she might find this dress I was wearing: it reminds me of what I used to be. I’ve got to get back to that much fun and freedom.
And that’s good. It’s a mzuri thing.
All the best,
Susan Hull Walker