Chelsea Maier has "upendo" tattooed along her ribcage, the Swahili word for love. This ink is a constant memory of working in Africa and defines her apparel and accessories line, SummerSkin. SummerSkin offers custom, one-of-a-kind designs for men and women made from kitenge fabrics from Dodoma, Tanzania. An artist and entrepreneur, Maier believes that the more love you give to the world, the more you will receive.
In July 2009, Maier spent six weeks building the Galilaya Orphan Centre in Dodoma, Tanzania. The Vancouver Island native, who now lives in Winnipeg, studies Environmental Design at the University of Manitoba. Her last semester ended with a new apartment and open opportunities for summer. Then, in the chaos of moving, Maier rediscovered fabrics from her trip to Africa.
“If you want something, you just have to go for it,” says Maier. “The more you talk about it to your friends and family, the more you are accountable and have to follow through with it."