Archel Bernard has taken her love for design and sewing African fashion to unprecedented heights. She is the owner of The Bombchel Factory and Mango Rags boutique in Monrovia, Liberia. Archel moved to Liberia after graduating college to be a lifestyle journalist. She thought a great way to stand out on YouTube but blend into the community would be to wear West African fashion.
Long story short (very long story), what started as a need to represent her Liberian heritage has now turned into training disadvantaged women to sew her designs and empowering the women to become self-sufficient.
Archel’s mission took a significant turn amid the deadly Ebola outbreak in Liberia. She saw the devastation in a country she loved; a country still struggling to overcome civil war. Archel decided to open a factory to help the people of her ancestral homeland to rebuild. She named it The Bombchel Factory.
Archel’s journey is full of twists and turns that involved several back and forth trips to the US, selling her first pieces out of her mother’s garage, trying to save a business that she had to close in the Ebola virus that became a global health crisis, eventually opening a factory for Ebola virus, getting an article in the New York Times, a successful Kickstarter campaign and eventually getting Kelly Rowland to wear one of her dresses to Beyonce’s push party!
Archel has been featured in The New York Times, CNN, Forbes, Fast Company, Al Jazeera, Essence, and other major news outlets. She is also a Richard Branson Scholar. Archel’s successful Kickstarter campaign almost doubled its goal, laying the foundation for an exciting, fresh, ethical style company. Archel is a savvy businesswoman, a visionary and a fashionista. But more than anything, Archel is determined to use her business to build lives.
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