Black Girls Sew™ is committed to having a positive impact on the lives of girls and young women through education in sewing, design and entrepreneurship. With over 20 years experience as a successful designer and stylist with an impressive client list, Black Girls Sew™ is Hekima Hapa’s vision for a non-profit organization focused on teaching fundamental life skills such as creativity and resourcefulness through the design process. The mission of Black Girls Sew™ is to give women and girls the tools they need to create a more fashionable future.
Meet the Founder
Born to a maker, seamstress, self-starter, workaholic mother of 12, Hekima Hapa learned the Art of Fashion as necessity. Hekima Hapa was born in rural Avon Park, Florida and migrated to Brooklyn in her early 20’s seeking a more fashionable future. Leaving behind 3 years of college credits towards degrees in both Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising and jumping knee deep into the pool of NYC Fashion experience. Ms. Hapa is a mother of 4 children. Hekima has 20 years of Brooklyn based Fashion Design, Fashion Merchandising, Teaching Artist in the private and public sector, Fashion boutiques owner & operator experience.
Hekima Hapa established Harriet’s Alter Ego a lifestyle clothing brand and boutique in 2000 with partner Ngozi Odita. Harriet’s Alter Ego was one of the first African inspired lifestyle brands to provide space for inspiring designers as part of downtown Brooklyn Fashion Cooperative. You could not only find unique handmade fashion, Harriet’s housed a community garden and Visual Arts Gallery space. Bounced around from the effects of gentrification and overdevelopment in Brooklyn a brick and mortar was no longer the most ideal route for an independent fashion brand. Harriet’s Alter Ego officially closed its doors in its Park Slope location in 2006.
The now popular Harriet’s by Hekima brand launched @ The Dekalb Market in 2010. HbyH is a ecofriendlier less costly version of its Harriets Alter Ego predecessor sold nationally at independent boutiques and online @ www.harrietsbyhekima.com While operating her own independent fashion brand Ms. Hapa has also found time for her newest endeavor Black Girls Sew.
Black Girls Sew is a sewing and crafting community both online and off. It offers and shares helpful eco friendly sewing & manufacturing tips to thousands of individuals weekly via facebook. BGS also conducts bimonthly sewing meet ups to encourage recycling, as well as facilitate adult sewing class. But the absolute most accomplished undertaking is it’s Sew
Green Fashion Camp created in 2014 serving youth 8 to 17.