House of Figs // Voice International
I came across Voice through Instagram, I saw a gorgeous pic of my sister in law wearing some amazing tassled earrings and totally wanted some myself. I found Voice and not only loved the beautiful jewellery, but was so encouraged and inspired by the story behind the brand.
It was summer 2018, the most glorious summer may I add. I had just returned from travelling for the previous 11 months and was re evaluating my spending, how much I consume, where we get our products from etc. So, all of this was mulling around my mind when I stumbled upon Voice’s beautiful jewellery and even better ethics. I got the tassels, i’m pleased to say, and with it a new friendship with Natasha, director of Voice. Turns out she’s a friend of my brother and sister in law and it was great to connect with her face to face in her home town of Bath.
I love Natasha’s heart and passion for people and for quality ethical products. She has big dreams and great vision and this business is tied to her personally and is part of the fabric of her family. It’s truly wonderful.
It’s a true joy to welcome her into our space here at House of Figs and hear some of her journey.
Tasha, tell us a little about yourself…
I’m 27, live in Bath, come from a VERY loud and creative family and have a huge passion for creatively empowering women across the world! At 19 I moved to Uganda to volunteer with a charity working with families in the slums of Kampala.
It was here I witnessed pure joy that overpowers poverty.
It was here I began to dream.
One year turned into five, Uganda became my second home and there the roots of Voice were planted.
What is Voice International all about?
Voice International is about releasing creativity through community. We are social enterprise creating a platform for creative voices to be heard where they have been silenced. Right now this looks like working with our four artisans in Uganda, some of which have never had the chance do to anything creative and some who have never been fortunate to find employment!
We currently specialise in handmade jewellery incorporating both British and Ugandan materials and styles but in the future our dream is to be designing and training artisans across all creative platforms.
How did the business come into being? What stirred your heart and gave you the inspiration?
The vision for Voice was birthed during my time volunteering with Every Life, charity working into the slums of Kampala. Part of our day to day would be spending time, developing friendships with mamas and children in these communities. It was in these moments I became aware of the lack of employment and creative opportunity for these women. Many would rely on their husbands providing when they returned home, others selling fruit and veg for a living, but all supporting each other where possible. They became my inspiration in how they chose to live out life no matter the circumstances. So I began to dream together various ideas of how I could creatively train and empower women whilst offering sustainable employment. The ideas developed the structure of our empowerment cycle became reality and then came our first jewellery collection!
Can you tell us little about what’s next for Voice?
This year is the year of blooming! A process of becoming.
Last September we moved into our first creative office space in Kampala and we now have four full time staff learning and creating our product. This season we’ve expanded our product line and as well as launching jewellery we’ve got a range of Kimonos and hair accessories making a grand entrance!
We’re really excited about this!
Any tips for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to launch something new?
Never give up. Persevere with your ideas and dreams and trust that your story will unfold alongside them.Have a plan! Write it out, the 6 month , 1 year , 5 and 10 year vision. This really helped me.
How do you manage working and running a business?
Balancing the two can be a challenge. I’ve had to work really hard at prioritising time for each aspect of my employment and business. It’s not always easy, but seeing how far Voice has come whilst still working full time shows that it is possible.
What’s your personal favourite piece of jewellery
I love it all! But my favourite piece to wear at the moment are our new sterling hammered hoops- These are launching 1st of May!!