Women Entrepreneurs on the Go: Veronica & Freeda from Kuwala

Welcome to our new blog series on Encircled, "Women Entrepreneurs on the Go". Over the next few months, we will feature successful female entrepreneurs who LOVE to travel. They'll be sharing their story, how they started their businesses, and what motivates them the most, and how they overcome the challenges that come with being an Entrepreneur. As well, you'll get a sneak peek into their favourite travel destinations and their carry-on bag! 

This week I'd like to introduce Veronica + Freeda, the founders of Kuwala, a brand that promotes and celebrates African fashion. Kuwala is an online boutique that curates stylish and unique pieces from socially responsible African fashion brands.

About Kuwala

Kuwala is a fairly new business, having been open for just under 2 years, but they are going strong! Not only are Kuwala's items uniquely exclusive and handmade, but they're made by socially responsible brands in Africa which is an added bonus for ethical shoppers.

Living outside the African continent can make it difficult to source unique fashion made from African prints and fabrics. This is the drive behind Veronica and Freeda's business - making beautiful African-inspired styles available in Canada while at the same time promoting a sustainable fashion industry.

Long Distance Business Partners but making it work

Though Kuwala is based in Toronto, Veronica and Freeda live in different cities (Veronica in Toronto, Freeda in Calgary) which can create some challenges for running a business together. Luckily, technology has helped them overcome this. They've defined each of their business roles, commit to weekly Skype meetings, and are very supportive to each other. One particular way they stay in touch and keep things positive despite the distance, is to text each other after receiving positive feedback and support from a happy customer - Freeda and Veronica love to celebrate these successes together! 

Veronica and Freeda believe that part of what makes their business successful, is the customers that understand, believe in and support their mission. When they hear customers explain Kuwala's mission to their friends, it shows that they truly understand what they are trying to achieve with their business. And of course, being able to fulfill their customers needs is top priority. 

On Travel

Both ladies have had opportunities to travel and explore. Veronica's favourite trip so far has been to Brazil where she spent a month travelling alone couchsurfing and staying in hostels while she explored the city with other travellers and locals. Since she was travelling solo, it was easy to determine her own route and journey from place to place at her own pace.

Freeda's most memorable trip so far has been her very first trip to New York city. She visited Times Square, Grand Central Station, Central Park, and saw the thousands of NYC’s iconic yellow cabbies. It was much like the movies! Both ladies had also been able to visit family and friends in Africa and have met many talented and ambitious people along their travels. 

Veronica's Top 8 Carry On Essentials 

1) Passport!

2) A notebook – To write down notes and my thoughts

3) Toothbrush/toothpaste – Clean teeth are important

4) MacBook & protective sleeve 

5) Warm socks – My feet always get cold in planes Sunglasses – I’m assuming we’re going somewhere hot & sunny

6) Bilingual dictionary - I want to say "I'm hungry" in every language :)

7) Cellphone & charger – not to make calls during the flight but to take photos

8) Headphones – To watch the in-flight movies or listen to podcasts

Freeda's Top 8 Carry On Essentials

1) Glasses/prescription sunglasses – without them I’m blind

2) Credit card – purchasing power no matter where I am

3) Camera - to capture memories

4) Comfortable shoes and socks – comfort and warmth are key

5) Headphones – To listen to music or watch the in-flight movies

6) Facecloth – quick and easy way to freshen up

7) Floss – I always get food stuck in my teeth

8) Small pillow – so I can take a snooze comfortably in flight or in transit at the airport

Learn more about Veronica, Freeda, and Kuwala on Instagram/Facebook

Special thanks to Veronica + Freeda for taking the time to be interviewed for "Women Entrepreneurs on the Go". If you know an Entrepreneur, or are an Entrepreneur who loves to travel that we should feature, please click here to contact us. 

With gratitude,

Brittany

Encircled

Love travel? Join our League of Travelistas -- a community for women who love to travel. Click her to request access to our private facebook group.





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Encircled Size Charts
Please scroll down to find the size chart for each design. If you have any questions on sizing, please try out our online size recommender or click here to contact us with questions prior to ordering. Size charts are in alphabetical order based on design name.
If you're on our product page viewing the size chart, click anywhere outside of the pop-up (or on the X in the top right corner) to close the size charts, or click here to surf back to our main collection page.

The Adiona Maxi Dress

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 14 - 16 (XL)
Bust 27.5 - 29.5 " 30.5 - 32.5 " 33.5 - 35.5 " 36.5 - 38.5" 39.5 - 41.5 "
Waist 23-24" 25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34"
Hips 30-32" 33-35" 36-38" 39-41" 42-44"
Front Length 45" 45" 45" 45" 45"
Back Length 55" 55" 55" 55" 55"

Fit Advice: The Adiona Maxi Dress fits true to size, but we recommend to size up if you are in between sizes. The length can be hemmed by a tailor, or adjusted by  bringing the waist higher up the body to accommodate many different heights. The elasticized waist will flex to fit different waist sizes within ~1-2" of the measurements shown. 

Model's Measurements: Isabel shown in the basic product shots is approximately 5'10" tall and a size 2-4 (S), is wearing a size Extra Small in The Adiona Maxi Dress. Our model Kristi, shown in the styling shots is approximately 5'9" and a size 6-8 (M), wearing size Medium in the Adiona Maxi Dress.

 

The Chameleon Maxi Skirt

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M)
10 - 12(L)
14 - 16 (XL)
Bust 27.5 - 29.5 " 30.5 - 32.5 " 33.5 - 35.5 " 36.5 - 38.5" 39.5 - 41.5 "
Waist 23-24" 25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34"
Hips 30-32" 33-35" 36-38" 39-41" 42-44"
Length 39.5" 39.75" 40" 40.25" 40.5"

Fit Advice: The Chameleon Maxi Skirt fits true to size. The wide waistband ensures no ‘muffin top’. However, if you are a bit smaller on the top and wish to wear it as a strapless dress, we recommend sizing down because the drawstring to adjust the length is in the hem. Hemming The Chameleon Maxi Skirt would be difficult. 

Model's Measurements: Marah is shown in the product and styling shots is approximately 5'11", and a size 6-8 (M), is wearing a size Medium in The Chameleon Maxi Skirt. 

The Chrysalis Cardi

Size
Garment Length (Laid Flat) Garment Width (Laid Flat) Bust 
(inches)
Waist 
(inches)
Hip 
(inches)
Height 

Regular

(xs - xxl)

38" 39.5" 32"-41" 25"-34" 35"-44" 5'2"-6'0"

Petite

(xxs - m)

35" 34.5" 27"-35" 23"-28" 30"-38" >5'4"

Maxi

(xl - xxxl)

43" 41.5" 41"-52" 33"-45" 44"-56" >6'0"

Fit Advice: The Regular Chrysalis Cardi is a one size fits most garment ranging from sizes XS-XXL or 2-14. It can be easily belted in multiple ways, however the Regular is not recommended for petite or shorter woman due to the volume of fabric - See Petite Cardi. The Regular is also not recommended for curvier/taller women due to fabric pulling around the bust or bottom - See Maxi Cardi.

We recommend watching the how-to wear videos to see how much fabric drape and length you would like in your finished garment. If you are in between sizes, it is best to size up and the garment can always be tailored shorter to better suit your look - you cannot add more fabric unfortunately!

The Petite is best suited for women 5'4" and under with a smaller frame, although it will also work on women above this height (depending on preferred length when styled). 

The Maxi is best suited for all women under 6’0” with a curvier shape to eliminate any uncomfortable fabric pulling, although it will also work on women who are a bit less curvy (depending on preferred length when styled). 

Model's Measurements: Isabel shown in the Black Petite Chrysalis Cardi product shots is approximately 5'10" tall and a size 2-4 (S). Mandy shown in the Slate Grey + Navy Petite Chrysalis Cardi product shots is approximately 5'2" tall and a size 0-2 (XS). Anthea shown in the beach shot is 5'4" tall and a size 2-4 (S).

*If you have any questions on sizing, please contact us - Remember it is best to provide us with your height and size range of garments that you already own! 

The Dressy Sweatpant

HIGH RISE FIT

Worn higher up with rise sitting at natural waist. Straight leg tapers from the hip to ankle opening.

Size XS (0-2) S (2-4) M (6-8) L (10-12) XL (14-16)
Waist (inches)
23" - 25"
25" - 28"
28" - 32"
32" - 34"
34" - 37"
Hip (inches)
32" - 34"
35" - 38"
38" - 41"
41" - 44"
44" - 47"
Inseam (inches) 28.5"
RELAXED FIT
Slight drop-crotch look with rise sitting just above natural hip. Straight leg tapers to ankle opening.
Size XS (0-2) S (2-4) M (6-8) L (10-12) XL (14-16)
Waist (inches)
25" - 28"
28" - 32"
32" - 34"
34" - 37"
36" - 39"
Hip (inches)
35" - 38"
38" - 41"
41" - 44"
44" - 47"
46" - 49"
Inseam (inches) 28.5"

Fit Advice: We recommend staying with your usual size if you are in between sizes. The cut on The Dressy Sweatpants is more generous and the fit is meant to be drapey and slightly harem. Therefore, it's better if they don't fit snug. 

Model's Measurements: Isabel shown in the product shots is approximately 5'10" tall and a size 2-4 (S) is wearing a size small in Black, Navy, and Smoke Dressy Sweatpant. Daria is 5'4" tall and a size 0-2 (XS) and is wearing an extra small in the Slate Grey Dressy Sweatpant.

 

The Evolve Top

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M)
10 - 12 (L)
14 - 16 (XL)
Bust 27.5 - 29.5 " 30.5 - 32.5 " 33.5 - 35.5 " 36.5 - 38.5" 39.5 - 41.5 "
Waist 20-22" 23-25" 26-28" 32-34" 35-37"
Hips 30-32" 33-35" 36-38" 39-41" 42-44"
Fit Advice: The fit of The Evolve top is drapey but tapers towards the hip. It tends to fit large. We recommend for you to size down from your normal size if you are unsure. The fabric on The Evolve top has a natural stretch that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown. 
Model's Measurements: 
Isabel shown in the product shots is approximately 5'10" tall and a size 2-4 (S) wearing a size extra small in The Evolve Top.

 

 

The Flipside Legging 

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 14 - 16 (XL)
Waist 20-24" 25-28" 28-32" 32-34" 34-37"
Hips 30-34" 35-38" 38-41" 41-44" 44-47"
Inseam 28" 28"
28"
28"
28"

Fit Advice: We recommend sizing down if you are in between sizes with your measurements. The Modal fabric on The Flipside Leggings is not as 'taut' as synthetic fabrics like polyester, so if you prefer a snugger fit with your leggings, size down. The Flipside Leggings are pre-shrunk.

Model's Measurements: Isabel shown in the product shots is approximately 5'10" tall and a size 2-4 (S) wearing a size XS.

 

 The Minimalist Legging

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 14 - 16 (XL)
Waist 20-24" 25-28" 28-32" 32-34" 34-37"
Hips 30-34" 35-38" 38-41" 41-44" 44-47"
Inseam 28" 28"
28"
28"
28"

Fit Advice: We recommend sizing down if you are in between sizes with your measurements. The Bamboo fabric on The Minimalist Leggings is tighter than the Flipside Leggings. The Minimalist Leggings are pre-shrunk.

Model's Measurements: Kristi, shown in the product shots is approximately 5'9" and a size 6-8 (M), wearing size Medium in the Minimalist Leggings.

 

The Nomadic Crew Neck

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 12 - 14 (XL) 14 - 16 (XXL)
Bust 27.5 - 29.5 " 30.5 - 32.5 " 33.5 - 35.5 " 36.5 - 38.5" 39.5 - 41.5 "
42.5 - 44.5"
Waist 23-24" 25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34"
35-37"
Hips 30-32" 33-35" 36-38" 39-41" 42-44"
45-47"
Length 28" 28" 28" 28" 28"
28"

 Fit Advice: The Nomadic Crew Neck fits true to size. If you want a more relaxed fit, size up. The length can be hemmed by a tailor. As the fabric has a natural stretch, it will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown around the chest and hips. 

Model's Measurements: Jamie shown in the product and styling shots is approximately 5'4" tall and a size 2 (XS) is wearing a size extra small in The Nomadic Crew Neck.

 

 

The Nomadic V-Neck

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 12 - 14 (XL) 14 - 16 (XXL)
Bust 27.5 - 29.5 " 30.5 - 32.5 " 33.5 - 35.5 " 36.5 - 38.5" 39.5 - 41.5 "
42.5 - 44.5
Waist 23-24" 25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34"
35-37"
Hips 30-32" 33-35" 36-38" 39-41" 42-44"
45-47"
Length 28" 28" 28" 28" 28"
28"

Fit Advice: The Nomadic V-Neck fits true to size. If you want a more relaxed fit, size up. The length can be hemmed by a tailor. As the fabric has a natural stretch, it will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown around the chest and hips. 

Model's Measurements: Anissa shown in the product shots is approximately 5'2" tall and a size 0 (XS) is wearing a size extra small in The Nomadic V-Neck.

 

The Reversible Pencil Skirt

Size
XS (0-2)
S (2-4)
M (6-8)
L (10-12)
XL (14-16)

Waist (inches)

23" - 26"
26" - 29"
29" - 32"
32" - 34"
35" - 37"

Hip (inches)

32" - 34"
35" - 38"
38" - 41"
41" - 44"
45" - 47"

Length Total (inches)

20"
21"
22"
23"
24"

Fit Advice: The Reversible Pencil Skirt fits true to size, but it's suggested to size up if you fall between sizes. The pencil skirt offers a smooth silhouette that slightly tapers from waist to hips and down through to the hem, hitting just at knee length. A pencil skirt should smoothly skim your curves, so to get a perfect fit, first identify your largest measurement then choose the size offering that range while still allowing for some stretch. The fabric on The Reversible Pencil skirt has a natural stretch, that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown.

Model's Measurements: Monica shown in the product and styling shots is approximately 5'6" tall and a size 2-4 (S) is wearing a size extra small.  

 

The Revolve Dress

 
Size
0-2 (XS)
2-4 (S)
6-8 (M) 10-12 (L) 14-16 (XL)
Bust (inches)
27.5 - 29.5 "
30.5 - 32.5 "
33.5 - 35.5 "
36.5 - 38.5 "
39.5 - 41.5 "
Waist (inches)
23-24 "
25-26 "
28-29 "
30-31 "
32-34 "
Hips (inches)
30-32 "
33-35 "
36-38 "
39-41 "
42-44 "
Length (inches)
At longest, 38.5" Adjustable
At longest, 39" Adjustable
At longest, 39.25" Adjustable
At longest, 39.5" Adjustable
At longest, 39.5" Adjustable

Fit Advice: The Revolve Dress is designed to fit drapey that tapers towards the hip. We recommend staying with your typical dress size. If your hip measurements are above the guide, size up. The length can be hemmed by a tailor. The fabric on The Revolve Dress has a natural stretch, that will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown.

Model's Measurements: Isabel shown in the product and styling shots is approximately 5'10" tall and a size 2-4 (S) is wearing a size extra small. 

 

The Wanderer Sleeveless T 

Size
0 - 2 (XS) 2 - 4 (S) 6 - 8 (M) 10 - 12 (L) 12 - 14 (XL) 14 - 16 (XXL)
Bust 27.5 - 29.5 " 30.5 - 32.5 " 33.5 - 35.5 " 36.5 - 38.5" 39.5 - 41.5 "
42.5 - 44.5"
Waist 23-24" 25-26" 28-29" 30-31" 32-34"
35-37"
Hips 30-32" 33-35" 36-38" 39-41" 42-44"
45-47"
Length 28" 28" 28" 28" 28"
28"

Fit Advice: The Wanderer Sleeveless T fits true to size. If you want a more relaxed fit, size up. The length can be hemmed by a tailor. As the fabric has a natural stretch, it will stretch to fit within ~1-2" of the measurements shown around the chest and hips. 

Model's Measurements: Jamie shown in the product and styling shots is approximately 5'4" tall and a size 2 (XS) is wearing a size extra small in The Wanderer Sleeveless T.