H E L L O : ) !
My name is Jorna Fatoumata Saho and I am the CEO, designer and tailor of Chocolate Sisters.
I was born on the 6th of February in a not-so-cold winter in 1989, in Groningen, the Northern part of The Netherlands.
I live in The Netherlands, still in the Northern part of the country, in Groningen, with my family. I got married in 2010 with a Gambian musician and we've been blessed with two beautiful kids (a girl and a boy).
At an early age (9 years to be precise), my parents decided to bring me to The Gambia, at the West-coast of Africa for a holiday. They've visited the country two years before that time, and found it necassary for me, as a child, to see how other kids lived, and to learn to appreciate what we have in Europe and take for granted (like running water, steady electricity, toys to play with, cloths to wear, school to go to). My mom told me that, since we returned from that particular holiday, I have never asked or complained about anything again. Lesson well learned! ;)
Since that very holiday, I have returned to The Gambia for uncountable times. The Gambia and it's people had entered in my heart, not to be removed from it again. At this moment I still travel to The Gambia twice a year and planning to build my families future there in the years ahead, In Shaa'Allah.
The Gambian community in The Gambia and in the diaspora have been very supportive and it was a Gambian lady whom encouraged me to start Chocolate Sisters after I sewed some dresses for my daughter and uploaded them on social media.
Africa and The Gambia in particular had never left me after that first trip, and it happen to become a part of my being.
The vibrancy of the culture and traditions, the sound of the different languages, the particular smell you can only smell when in Africa, and the friendliness and hospitality of the people can't be found anywhere else in this world.
The way Gambian ladies get to dress up for Ngenteh's (Baby Christenings), Takki Gorr's (Weddings) and other cultural ceremonies, I have everfound breathtaking. The rich fabrics, the beautiful embroideries, cuts, designs, bold colours and details always drew my attention.
I started sewing in November 2013, learning every single bit of this particular art by herself. No courses, classes or teachings where involved in my journey of learning how to create, cut, measure and stitch. Which resulted in a free-way of thinking and creating, pattern drawing and detailmaking.
Being a ambitious woman and a hardworker, I am always on the lead for bigger and better things for Chocolate Sisters. The many ideas about designing and retailing reach to the sky. But my biggest aim in creating fashion is to make you SMILE in it! You are the one that makes my garments alive with your unique self! Thanks for you support in the past, present and hopefully in the future!
Jorna Fatoumata Saho <3
2015 - Winner of the Best Fashion Designer award by INTERFACE GAMBIA TV - London, United Kingdom
2014 - Winner of the Best Fashion Designer award by INTERFACE GAMBIA TV - London, United Kingdom