During the year, when I am not busy with the children or on the side of a sports field or rowing lake, I love to be a vendor at local markets. Not only is it fun, as I love what I do, but the market also allows me to meet some incredible buyers and sellers. It's incredibly inspirational hearing their stories and business journey.
Back in November last year, I attended the spring market at Dainfern Golf Estate, which was a huge success! Not only did I make tons of personalised presents for people on the spot, but in between the chaos, I met Moses Rombayi, fondly known as Mo, and wow, did he have a significant impact on me!
Mo is the founder and creator of HelloMo a level 1 B-BBEE toy company (formerly known as Friends of Moses). He makes the most uniquely beautiful plush toys from incredibly bright and colourful African ShweShwe material.
In between the crowds, I learned more about Mo and where he came from. Mo explained that as a child, he contracted Polio, which sadly left him disabled, restricting him to a wheelchair. Some may see this as a reason to give up, yet that's not Mo. He took the opportunity to make the most of what he had, and instead of dwelling on the past, he developed tailoring skills and applied that to creating the beautiful toys he sold at these markets. If this wasn’t amazing enough, proceeds from HelloMo purchases support a registered NPO called Arise, founded by Mo himself! Through this organisation Mo empowers disabled people by teaching them to sew, giving them the gift of independence and self respect.
Last December, Gifts By You was lucky enough to be a part of the Montecasino Christmas Market, where we stocked a large selection of unique, thoughtful gifts, including Mo’s incredible toys, that were personalised on site. We also had the ability to donate our stall to Mo for the last three days of the market, which was an incredible opportunity for him to showcase himself and his amazing talents. We are proud that that this was a great success for HelloMo.
At the end of every market, I am filled with exhaustion, but also gratitude and this time was no exception. Meeting Mo made me appreciate what I have and reminded me that life will not always be easy, but the opportunity to do something you love is a blessing beyond comprehension. Make the most of your situation, live life to the fullest and
never take anything for granted.
As my whole “Gifts By You” concept is built around the bespoke experience, Mo’s toys are even more attractive to me as each toy is unique and unlike one he has made before. Mo is not only an incredible craftsman but has built his business from the ground up and has got the recognition of companies and individuals that have now stepped in to help where they can.
It is an honour and a blessing for Gifts By You to be partnering with Mo and you can now find HelloMo's unique African toys in our online store.
Mo, thank you for who you are. I celebrate you and everything you stand for.