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Meet Hawa Lansanah of HawAmazing Design & Stitch™️ in Lawrenceville

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hawa Lansanah.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Hawa. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’m sure you’re familiar with stories of families having to evacuate from their countries and come to America because of “civil unrest.” Well, we were one of those families. I was born the daughter of a Liberian diplomat, born in Belgium, who lived in Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. At eight years old, my family and I were displaced from our home. I suddenly found myself in America, a political refugee and fish out of water… briefly. During my school years, I dove into extra-curricular activities and clubs to learn everything I could about my new community in Gwinnett County and how to serve it. I later attended Savannah State University (an HBCU), where I achieved my B.A. in Business Administration, followed by an MBA. While at SSU, I made one of the best decisions of my life and became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I’m all about sharing my Liberian culture with the world. I’m constantly inviting my friends to family functions (When we could still do that sort of thing) where they can be embraced by the culture and traditions. My friends would always ask me to make them something authentic to wear to the event. While living in Africa, our school uniforms were lovingly handmade by our mother, so I’m no stranger to a needle and thread. For years I would make unique pieces and accessories for my friends as gifts. Word quickly got out and when my order volume continued to grow, I knew it was time to make a move. In the Summer of 2019, HawAmazing Design & Stitch™️ became a “sitch.” I started by participating in local pop-up shops and festivals and that led to launching my online store in 2020.

Has it been a smooth road?
I’ve been grateful for the obstacles in my journey because they’ve always led to growth. Let’s just say that 2019 was a year full of growth opportunities. Coming back to Corporate America after teaching for six years, while launching a brand is not for the faint of heart. Sleepless nights spent developing new products, filling orders and brainstorming marketing campaigns to engage with my customers has been exhausting, but at the same time so fulfilling. My only complaint is doing my bookkeeping. Ugh… It’s so boring! But through it all, I’ve remained determined to see HawAmazing™️ expand. Like everyone else, the 2020 pandemic has been my biggest challenge. We live in a different world now and I’ve had to pivot my business strategy to survive. But thanks to persistence and my amazing and supportive customers and followers, HawAmazing™️ continues to be successful in spite of this pandemic.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
“HawAmazing™️” is derived from my name, which is pronounced “Hah-Wah” (not “How-Wuh”). It was very important to stay true to my culture when deciding on my company’s name. HawAmazing Design & Stitch™️ focuses on three principles; Community Service, Education and Diverse Cultural Inclusion.

COMMUNITY SERVICE – Community service has always been a huge part of my life. From getting out the vote to coordinating a relay for the most widely known cancer foundation in the U.S. for several years, I’ve always worked to mobilize my community. That same drive is at the heart of this company. HawAmazing Design & Stitch™️ donates to teachers, local families and other individuals in need. We’ve also donated handmade masks to local clinics to help slow the spread of this pandemic in the community.

EDUCATION – My family and I immigrated from Africa to Gwinnett County, the most culturally diverse community in Georgia. America is made of families with rich cultures and heritages from all over the world. Growing up in Gwinnett, I learned that education and exposure to those cultures are key to bringing us together and making us stronger as a country. I served as a classroom educator there for several years, being recognized as Teacher of the Year in 2017. I always strived to elevate students of all cultures and nationalities by connecting the content to hands-on activities and encouraging them to share their unique experiences with each other.

DIVERSE CULTURAL INCLUSION – As a brand, HawAmazing Design & Stitch™️ continues that mission of education by creating products and curating hands-on experiences that connect our customers to the history, language and cuisine of Liberia; a country that literally has roots in America. Our brand does not only consist of handmade clothing and accessories that have an African flair. Recipes, art and virtual community events are just a few of the tools that we use to continue to keep our customers engaged.

My proudest moment to date was being able to bring my brand and some entertainment to people in the midst of social distancing. On July 26, 2020, I hosted the Inaugural Pepper Soup & Paint Liberian Independence Day Virtual Celebration. A mouthful, I know, but so was the “Pep-peh” soup! We had a great turn out for our first virtual event. Participants received packages that included their King/Queen canvas, painting supplies, apron and a limited edition “Long Live Liberia” t-shirt. They were also given my Mom’s recipe for authentic Pepper Soup so that they could sip while they painted. They were taught by our incredible artist while our virtual DJ rocked the turntables!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Atlanta is such a beautiful place that is full of growth and opportunities. This city has always been so supportive of many local businesses. Besides, who wouldn’t want to be around such dope and creative people? The traffic is another story although being stuck in traffic isn’t so bad when you’re surrounded by such incredible scenery.

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