This architect quit her 9-5 job to run a successful business preserving her Ethiopian heritage

Stephen Nartey June 06, 2023
Hana's brand, Bolé Road Textiles, has gained recognition and support, showcasing the beauty and craftsmanship of Ethiopian textiles to a wider audience. Photo credit: Hana Getachew

Inspired by her mother’s dress for the Mels – a traditional Ethiopian wedding ceremony, to blend her love for Ethiopian fabrics with her professional skill in interior design, Ethiopian-American designer and former architect, Hana Getachew’s designs are a testament to the influence of her cultural heritage and affinity for bright colors.

She considers herself a vanguard for her people’s culture and shares their life experiences through her work, according to Beyond the Built.

After working as an architect for nearly 11 years, primarily focused on decorating commercial interiors and offices, Hana began to feel that her work lacked uniqueness and a connection to her soul. It was during this time that she learned about a friend who quit her job to pursue her pillow business.

She had never considered herself capable of running her own business, however, this revelation inspired Hana to pursue her own entrepreneurial path and explore her love for textiles. She wanted to institutionalize a part of history that served as a bridge between her Ethiopian heritage and American life.

Hana was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but her family moved to North America when she was only three years old. However, memories of her cultural traditions were not left in the North Eastern nation of Africa. The love of her people for colorful dresses, which were handmade for events and holidays, always tickled her imagination.

It was further entrenched by the stunning pieces of clothing brought by relatives from Ethiopia when they vacationed there, according to Goop.  

While working as an architect, Hana enrolled in a school for interiors. She saw textiles as a way of taking control of her cultural space. When her friends began losing their jobs due to the financial crisis in 2008, she observed a different aspect of them she wasn’t used to. The spirit of entrepreneurship was in full gear for most of them. This inspired her to also quit her business and follow her passion.

Undeniably, Hana’s decision to start Bolé Road Textiles proved fruitful, and she credits taking business lessons on entrepreneurship as a contributing factor to her success. Through her business, she trades Ethiopian textiles, drawing inspiration from the rich heritage and vibrant colors of Ethiopian culture.

Hana’s brand, Bolé Road Textiles, has gained recognition and support, showcasing the beauty and craftsmanship of Ethiopian textiles to a wider audience, which is also helping her connect with her inner self.

Her story serves as an example of following one’s passion and finding a unique path that aligns with personal values and interests. By honoring her Ethiopian heritage and combining it with her entrepreneurial spirit, Hana Getachew has built a successful business that celebrates the beauty of Ethiopian textiles in a contemporary way.

Last Edited by:Editor Updated: June 11, 2023


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