Furaha Bishota-Folquet “The Fabric Markets of Uganda”
I am inspired by the extraordinary wealth of colors in African wax print fabrics which are at the heart of FURAHA Bags. I find the vibrant palettes and hues as well as the clashing bold prints exhilarating. Shopping for the fabrics is a natural mood enhancer and I am happiest when I am at the market surrounded by hundreds of stalls of loud patterns and eye catching fabrics. It is this “feel good” mood I try to conjure when I am designing the bags and selecting fabrics. I am also inspired by the cultural richness of the fabrics. As an African having spent most of my life outside the continent, I always had this inexplicable nagging desire to create an identity of my own. This was how I came to fall in love with the wax fabric and I began to take a keener interest in the symbolism of the fabrics. Each pattern and design tells a story and these stories are as different as the diverse ethnic groups and tribal orientations on the continent. It has always been great fun trying to guess the names of the different patterns. So basically, the fabrics are not all about pretty colors but also a lesson in tradition. For me, the abundance of color evokes beauty and happiness while the symbolism of the fabrics makes me appreciate my roots. My goal is to transmit this spirit to others through my bags.