Hana Getachew: Dwell in Possibility

December 15 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: Finding Inspiration in the Artistic

One of my little tricks to being more inspired or energized in my work is to learn about women’s creative careers. I don’t sell paintings for a living or teach dance classes, but discovering how women in creative careers approach their work helps me think of my work in a totally new way.

So, maybe you’re an auditor or a child-care provider and feeling a little stuck in the monotony. Take some time to listen to the story of today’s Woman to Watch and figure out how you can apply an imaginative spin to your everyday life.

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: $41.1 Million

The creative industry we’re diving into today is textiles, the stuff that covers our windows, our sofas and our fabulous figures. Textiles are everywhere, which means this is a pretty major trade throughout the world, including in Africa, where textiles are viewed as a canvas for cultural expression, and many of the employees in the industry are women. In Ethiopia, it’s the biggest manufacturing industry, with a mind-blowing 60 garment factories and 15 textile mills operating in the country. And in 2015, Ethiopia’s textiles industry had a net worth of $41.1 million. That’s proof that putting your crafting skills to work can make an impact on the global market!

WOMAN TO WATCH: Hana Getachew, Creative Director and Founder of Bolé Road Textiles

Speaking of beautiful textiles, have you checked out Bolé Road Textiles? It’s a bold textile business created by designer Hana Getachew. Bolé Road’s ethically sourced textiles are designed in Brooklyn, New York, and hand-woven in Ethiopia, Hana’s home country. In fact, it’s Hana’s connection to her beloved Ethiopian design style that led this interior designer to create Bolé Road Textiles, a way to pay homage to her cultural inheritance while reflecting her own global, modern aesthetic.

Bolé Road is all about marrying modern aesthetic with ancient weaving traditions passed down through the generations to today’s Ethiopian artisans to create beautiful home accessories of the highest quality. The company works with artisan-led weaving collectives and small, women-owned businesses in Ethiopia, providing fair wages and helping the women grow their businesses and revitalize their local economies. A portion of Bolé Road’s profits helps fund a nonprofit program that provides education to girls in the rural parts of the country.

Hana’s advice for likeminded women who know their calling but might be afraid to take the leap is this: just start. For many entrepreneurs, it’s easy to devolve into a never-ending loop of everyday tasks, saying, “Once I finish X, Y or Z, I’ll launch my business.” But, as Hana says, the time is now. She also notes that sometimes, as a business owner, you just have to go with the flow. Even when shipments are delayed, products are unavailable or supply-chain partners are difficult to work with, accepting that everything won’t turn out perfectly means you’ll be prepared for anything. It might be an intense endeavor, but it’ll be worth it, and your entrepreneurial business idea may even become successful, like Bolé Road Textiles.

There’s one word Hana uses that rings in my head: vibrant. That’s the term she uses for her textile products, like her dazzling and super soft Sunflower Throw. Is it just me or is “vibrant” also quite a fitting way to describe this designer’s colorful life and career?


One of my favorite quotes is a phrase from an Emily Dickinson poem, and these words are framed and sit on Hana Getachew’s desk. It’s a simple and sweet phrase, and it says it all:

“Dwell in possibility.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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