After living in Malawi, artist and entrepreneur Marissa Perry Saints founded Dsenyo in an effort to empower a generation of women and artisans in Africa and Latin America to address the challenges facing their communities. As an active member of the Fair Trade Federation, Dsenyo works to create sustainable jobs while producing high-quality, unique and marketable fair trade gifts and ethical fashion items.
What do you do best?
I’m good at getting things started and inspiring others to pitch in and turn a new idea into reality. I’m a catalyst.
What makes you the best?
I don’t let fear rule me. I’m a risk taker and am willing to go full speed ahead with new ideas when it comes to something I’m passionate about.
How will you become the best?
Because I’m a catalyst, I’m better at starting something than finishing it. I know that I can become better at what I do by learning how to remain as excited and committed all the way through the end.
What are your aspirations: business & personal?
Personal: Right now my big personal goal is to PR in an Olympic triathlon in 2016 and complete the Tour de Tucson century cycling race the same year.
Business: I aspire to grow Dsenyo into one of the leading fair trade brands in the USA being an example of what’s possible when you combine great product design, superb handmade quality along with fair wages and positive supplier relationships with artisans.
What fascinates you?
Other cultures fascinate me. I love learning how to put myself in others shoes to understand the world from their perspective.
Full speed ahead!
My husband and my two boys
Malawi, Zambia and Brazil!
Our new kid’s Bucket Hats by Dsenyo. Other fair trade brands I love include Mata Traders, Global Mamas and Matr Boomie.
My kids, social/economic justice, fair trade, design, building community locally.