Cecily first visited Uganda in 2017 when, driven by her deep rooted interests in African, and specifically East African handwork and craft, she went to work for Paper Fig Foundation in Uganda. An organisation working to grow a sustainable fashion ecosystem that connects rural, urban, and international communities in the interest of economic stimulus, personal empowerment, and cultural preservation.
During this time she connected with Kanyogoga Mums group, an incredible group of women and single mothers from a large slum community in Kampala, connected through their exquisite craftsmanship skills. Inspired by their skill, strength and solidarity, Cecily spent most of her time with the women and their relationship flourished. Cecily has been working with Kanyogoga Mums ever since. She fell in love with the country:
‘It has become a home to me and I find it the most inspiring place on earth.’-Cecily
Cecily Ophelia was founded in 2019 specialising in one-of-a-kind, handcrafted clothing and accessories following a slow, seasonless and sustainable philosophy.
‘My love for craftsmanship is something that grows more and more everyday. It is for this reason I always place huge emphasis on the handmade in my work. Valuing the process of time serves both as a therapy and a protest against the voracious cycle of the fashion treadmill, which weaves obsolescence into the very fabric of its garments.’- Cecily
Cecily now lives and works in Kampala, Uganda with her partner AK Ibrahim, a Ugandan fashion designer and creative director of IGC Fashion, where she continues to work in collaboration with Kanyogoga Mums on our CECILY X KAMUMS pieces.