People often ask me what’s the meaning behind the name, Sarep + Rose. So I named this after my maternal grandmother, Sareptha. In the 1940s, Sarep married an Austrian-American man working with the Firestone rubber company. Together they had three children and lived happily until his employment term was up. Interracial marriages were still illegal in the US so he knew their lives would be in danger here.
After Charlie (Charles) left Liberia, Sarep went on to have subsequent children of her own and had to provide for her family the only way she knew how; by becoming an entrepreneur. She made and sold dried fish, hot fufu & soup, fried donuts and such to government officials between various ministerial buildings.
Despite her immense hardships, she never ever turned down a child who was brought to her from the countryside a space in her home and heart. Despite her own mother, Rose, passing away when she was a young child, she mothered somewhere around 25-30 people over her lifetime.
Through her wide social connections and relentless work ethic, she helped family members study abroad and one of her sons even earned a PhD in Agriculture from Yale. She spoke multiple local dialects and was known to enjoy a glass of Gin (no tonic). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I named this brand after these two generations of women because I wanted their legacy to be given greater meaning than a motherhood cut short or a motherhood marred by heartbreak and struggle. Sarep used whatever she could, with little formal education to take care of all of the children she had, biological or not. This company, Sarep + Rose is what will-in one form or another-take care of my future family one day, as it already does for many of the families involved in production with us.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
About a year after I started this company as ‘Sareptha Rose’, I found that the name Sareptha is a variation of the Hebrew name Sarepta, meaning silversmith, goldsmith or ‘makers’ shop. How serendipitous that this name signifies an occupation whose purpose is to craft something valuable and beautiful out of dust. Now if making much out of little isn’t women’s biggest mark in the world, then I don’t know what is.
Bifold Wallet, handmade in Liberia, West Africa.