Episode 031

Diarra Bousso Niang

You are never ready, so just start!

August 26, 2018

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Episode Overview

Even at a young age, Diarra Bousso Niang always knew she wanted to be in fashion. Growing up in Senegal, she loved seeing her mother all dressed up in African fashion.  She also always knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur.  More than “just” a fashion designer – she wanted to tell a story.
Frustrated with hearing the stereotypical narrative about Africa, Diarra decided to create a brand that would tell a different story -the story of luxury from Africa
Her entrepreneurial spirit stirred upon seeing her mother’s beautiful phone case from Senegal. It is what inspired her to start a luxury handbag, which she called ‘Bouswari.’ The brand name is a combination of Bousso, her middle name, and Bassari, a small tribe native to West Africa.

“Take your time, don’t be in a hurry. You have to take risks, but it has to be a calculated risk.” – Diarra Bousso Niang

 The Bouswari collections are handmade by artisans in Senegal. Each one inspired by African culture and design – telling an African Story. Diarra keeps the production line in Africa because she passionately believes in supporting African artists and brands in the global market.
Despite being new to the fashion scene, Bouswari has already been making major waves in the fashion industry. They have gotten featured in high-end publications including Vogue, Glamour, and Elle.

what you’ll learn in this episode

  • How the stereotypical narrative of Africa inspired Diarra to start her company
  • Why telling the story of African luxury is so important to Diarra
  • How Diarra found the money to start her company
  • Her big dream and vision for the company
  • Where Diarra gets her inspiration for the handbags
  • What has been the biggest challenge for Diarra on her entrepreneurial journey
  • The advice Diarra would give to anyone who has a dream
  • What Diarra’s “I am…” is


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