August 2019

Mella August Event

Thank you all who joined us last night! We had a great time with Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, founder and managing director of Sole Rebels, and Tewodros Dechase, founder of TD Leather Boots.

Some Fun Facts

Successful Event
Fascinating Entrepreneurs
Video produced

Bethlehem Tilahun and the story behind SoleRebels

From the humblest of beginnings, Bethlehem has built soleRebels into the planet's fastest-growing African footwear brand and the very first global footwear brand to ever emerge from a developing nation. She has created world-class jobs and empowered her community and country, whilst presenting a galvanized, dynamic face of African creativity to the global market.
Bethlehem was born and raised in the Zenabwork/Total area of Addis Ababa, one of the most impoverished and marginalized communities of Ethiopia. Growing up Bethlehem saw that Ethiopia had plenty of charity “brands” but not a single global brand of its own, so she set out to change all that. In early 2005, fresh out of college in Addis Ababa, Bethlehem founded the trailblazing footwear company soleRebels to provide solid community-based jobs. Tapping into her community’s and the nation's rich artisan wealth and heritages, Bethlehem started re-imagining what footwear could be.
Many shoes and hundreds of creative, dignified and well-paying jobs later, soleRebels is the planet's fastest-growing African footwear brand and the world’s first and only World Fair Trade Federation [WFTO] Fair Trade certified Footwear Company. Constantly elevating the idea of what her brand can achieve, Bethlehem has led soleRebels to become the first-ever brand from a developing nation to open branded, stand-alone retail stores around the globe including in Asia and the EU.

Tewodros Dechasse, Founder of TD leather and boots

Meet Tewodros Dechasse founder of TD leather and boots. In 2015, at a barbershop in Addis Ababa, he came across a man wearing a fine looking pair of leather boots. He asked him where he had picked up these great looking shoes and he led him to a factory of highly skilled craftsmen where the boots had been made. At this moment, he knew that he had to create his own style of shoes using Ethiopia's finest materials and his Amsterdam influence. So, he decided to create a sustainable footwear range handcrafted by the hands of local experts, combining local African craftsmanship with European style and design, and in April 2016, TD leather and boots was born.


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