BLOG

TO NEW BEGINNINGS

02.10.2017

We are about to leave soon: We’re going to fly to Malawi. We, that’s Melanie and Bene, founder and
co-founder of Khala. Actually, our team in Germany consists of three people. While we are in
Africa, Hubi keeps the flag flying in Munich.

Officially, Khala has been existing since August 2016. However, Melanie has been planning the
project for much longer. Two years ago, she had the idea to found Khala when she was travelling to
Malawi with an NGO to support a project for clean drinking water. The experiences which she
gathered during her stay, inspired her to set up a social business. The idea was to empower people in
Malawi to escape poverty by using their potential and talents.

At Khala we do this by creating clothes made of so-called Chitenje, traditional African fabrics,
working closely together with Malawian tailors.

In July, we successfully completed a crowdfunding campaign and thus generated the necessary
capital to start the production of our creations. In the meantime, a lot has happened. Melanie was
already in Malawi during the summer and has done all the necessary preparation work for the start
of the production. A bunch of challenges occured. One of the greatest of them was to adjust to the
mentality and working styles of a different culture. In Malawi, the clocks are ticking at a different
pace, agreements are rather loose, and the word deadline bothers no one. Understanding these
different approaches has taken a lot of time and capital, which we didn’t consider before. However,
with patience and persistence, Melanie mastered all of these challenges. Eventually, she organized
the necessary equipment, made almost impossible deals with our Malawian suppliers, and started
the production of the rewards for our supporters.

However, we still had to overcome many stumbling stones. The next obstacle was a personnel one.
It turned out that the collaboration with the designer we had hired as a manager for the production,
was not effective. Reluctantly, we ended the cooperation with her. This also meant that we lost the
studio and some of our tailors. And production was on hold again. Regarding this, Khala is back at
the start: we’ve got all the materials, parts of the equipment, three tailors and a trainee, with who we
could start immediately. Only the production site is missing now – and we are facing some financial
challenges.

That’s why we’re about to leave soon: We’re going to fly to Malawi. Our mission will be to find a
new studio, together with our team, and finish all pre-orders we received through the crowdfunding
campaign. There will surely come up new adventures. We stay positive and will keep you updated
about what we will experience with Khala in the following months.