Meet Nzinga: Artist, Mom, Entrepreneur
Nzinga has always been passionate about creating art. For her, the healing nature of painting, sewing and throwing clay has uplifted her during difficult times. After earning her Masters in Fine Arts and teaching at a university, she found herself in a dire financial situation and struggled to provide for her family. In order to take care of her six children, Nzinga returned to her creative roots and began sewing clothing and selling arts and crafts outside of a local supermarket in Oakland, CA.
As she started establishing herself financially, Nzinga began exploring ceramics and introducing homemade pottery products to her business. Now that her business is established, she plans to introduce a greater variety of products, including tagine pots for local Moroccan restaurants.
Not only does Nzinga enjoy the process of creating art, but has also enjoyed learning the responsibilities of running her own business. Nzinga first joined Grameen American in 2015 with a $1,000 loan that she used to purchase raw materials. She has since taken out three additional loans, totaling $5,700. She is grateful for the support that Grameen America has provided and has taken the initiative to become a leader among her peers and host weekly meetings at her shop to support fellow women entrepreneurs. As she looks to the future, she hopes to expand her shop in order to accommodate her own kiln to fire and glaze pottery on site. She also hopes to save for better equipment, such as an industrial cutter.