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Our Story


So one day in 2014, a woman walks into a tailoring shop in downtown Blantyre, Malawi...

And the rest is history!  

For those who want the full story, keep reading:

Our founder, Renata Aráuz-DeStefano, is an international development professional turned ethical fashion entrepreneur and investment banker. Upon graduating with a double-major in International Relations and French from Tufts University in 2011, she spent over 3 years with FINCA International, a global microfinance organization.  While with FINCA, Renata spent significant time in Haiti, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Malawi - where she ultimately spent 18 months prior to business school.  

In Malawi, Renata fell in love with the vibrant prints of the region and, excited to replicate some of her colleagues' outfits, she soon asked a coworker to recommend a local tailor. Eventually, her coworker led her to a shop across the parking lot from the FINCA Malawi Headquarters and introduced her to Joy Gondwe.  Renata was immediately drawn to Joy's warm energy and consistently high-quality work.  

Almost 2 years later, while pursing her MBA, Renata reached out to Joy about taking their relationship to the next level.  Having been exposed to the power of social entrepreneurship to fuel sustainable impact, Renata saw the pieces of the puzzle come together and saw a way for her and Joy to collaborate in a meaningful way. 

Combining her love for African wax prints, her passion for social impact, and her business-oriented approach to development, Mwayi was born.

Renata is a 2017 MBA graduate of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and currently resides in New York City.