This week we are super excited because we are interviewing Ben and Liz Bohannan! They are the founders of Sseko Designs. Sseko Designs uses fashion to create opportunity and community for women globally! We are going to talk through all things business, family, and more! Let’s get into it!
Here are all the things we mentioned in this episode:
- Our book, A Love Letter Life (releasing in April 2019)
- Our marriage Journal, The Marriage Journal
- Liz’s book, Beginner’s Pluck
- The Bohannon’s Company, Sseko Designs
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A Glimpse of the Bohannon’s
Liz and Ben are husband and wife, parents, and the co-founder team behind Sseko Designs (more on that in a bit!). Liz is the author of Beginner's Pluck: Build your life of purpose and impact now. Among other notable honors, Liz was recently named a top three Transformation Leader by John Maxwell, Forbes listed her as a top 20 public speaker in the U.S. and Bloomberg Businessweek named Sseko as a top social enterprise.
Sseko Designs started after I (Liz) was living in Uganda. I met an incredible group of young women (who were between high school and university) who couldn't afford to go to college. That is where the passion started!
Sseko Designs began and now operates to create income and employment opportunities for these young women. We have a factory with a staff of 60 women in Uganda. We have been able to send about 136 women to a university through our work-study program.
Sseko Designs is a socially conscious fashion brand that works to educate and empower women across the globe. By providing employment and educational opportunities, Sseko enables women in East Africa to continue their education and become leaders in their country and our world.
The Sseko story has been featured in dozens of publications including Vogue Magazine, Redbook Magazine, O Magazine, Inc, Fortune, and others. Sseko has appeared on national broadcasts including ABC's Shark Tank and Good Morning America.
Advice for People Who Want to Raise Awareness and Start New Businesses
Beginners Pluck is all about building your life or business and how to have an impact and purpose NOW (not later). It is packed with Liz’s greatest advice and wisdom!
My advice is to dream small. I am giving you permission to have small dreams… To be faithful with the small steps and small dreams that lead to building an extraordinary life of big dreams and big impact because of your small beginnings of faithfulness.
Take your big dream, slow down, think of the small dream within it, and just do it.
Whenever you are faithful with what’s in front of you, the next step becomes clearer.
Brick by brick, step by step. - Liz
Who is Beginners Pluck for?
Beginners Pluck is for anyone in any season of life. It’s for someone who wants to build a purposeful life and wants to create an impact not just for themselves, but for others.
How do you use your weaknesses and strengths in working together? What is Your Process in Making Decisions Together?
Our skill sets are different, although our personalities are similar. We are more like fire and fire which creates really awesome opportunities but really unique challenges.
One thing we really use in our marriage is- Who's the expert and who's the consultant?
We ask each other, what are you good at? And what we are good at and what we really care about is normally what we are “experts” in, while the other spouse is the consultant in that area.
But, once a decision is made, it is treated as a decision that we both have made. So, if something goes south, it isn't a “me against you” thing.
Trusting one another
Partnership and agreement. At the end of the conversation, an agreement is the only option. If there isn’t an agreement, the decision wasn’t made.
There are specific areas that we trust each other to make decisions. And that was built from working through the hard stuff, together. We have a commitment to reconciliation. If our opinions aren't the same, we are committed to reconciliation.
Don’t react and defend. Dig in and go beyond. The difference between building a great marriage or giving up is to just keep showing up, digging in and fighting for your better selves. It's there, but you won't find it if you give up.
"It's better when we are together."
Kids & “Mom Guilt”
Once we decided to build a family, we had to make some big shifts in our life. From a business perspective, having kids has been a huge asset. I feel so committed to treasure something outside of work, so it creates a natural boundary and drives me to get things done within business hours. Having our family creates natural rhythms in our life!
Mom guilt… I was told, "get ready you're going to feel guilty for the next 18 years when you're working!" I have my own issues, but mom-guilt is not a thing for me.
When I am at work doing what I feel called to be doing, it is not a problem for me. I don't feel guilty about it. If God has equipped and called me into, it's going to be right for my family. And, if it's not right for me, it’s not right for my family. If it's not right for my family, it is not right for me. You don't have to feel guilty.
Feel all the feelings. Missing your kids is not guilty, it's sad. Guilt is the emotion you get when you are doing something wrong. If you are doing something wrong, and you feel guilty, then check yourself. But, if you are doing what you are called to and are being faithful to the call, feel the peace of that call, and it's also okay to be sad because you miss your kids. The emotions can coexist.
How do we raise children who are securely attached, without needing them to be securely attached to us all of the time?
We live in an intentional community with a few other families. What's important to our community is proximity, commitment and pushing each other to be more of who God created us to be. We share life, we are committed to bringing the fullness of who we are to the table. The good, the bad and the ugly. We continue to show up, and all of our kids know how loved they are by just another voice loving on them and caring for them within our community. They are secure with us, and our community.
Wow… what a super awesome episode! This one is a great one to share with anyone who runs their own business or wants to start their own. Their advice is so practical and inspirational. We so appreciated them & hope you did too!