ugandan merchandise

Ugandan Merchandise

B2C Website & Digital Copy

The Synopsis

Ugandan Merchandise (UGME) CEO Harriet Zaffoni wanted to kill two birds with one exquisite slingshot. She wanted to import handmade goods from East Africa (Uganda and Rwanda)–and then use the proceeds to help to support African artisans and their families.

The Copywriting Challenge

We needed to:

  • Cleanly differentiate UGME from Pier 1 Imports and other manufacturing retailers.
  • Identify unusual materials (banana fiber, tree bark, papyrus) and quality workmanship.
  • Elevate UGME’s goods—for e-Commerce consumers unable to touch or handle them.

The Solution

The resulting website copy is fun and playful. It describes the materials (banana fiber, tree bark, and papyrus) in a way that’s vivid, colorful, and extremely tactile. And it clearly differentiates UGME from mass chains.

When we delivered the copy, we made Harriet—and perhaps some of her artisans, too—weep. Happily, of course.


You’ve never heard of this.

Tree bark, woven into cloth.

Say what?!

Ok. Picture a shredded wheat biscuit. Then shrink the strands, and make them finer and tawnier. Flatten them. Touch them. They’re surprisingly soft, right?

Now (ahem), stop stroking. Picture the material widening into a hat: one with a floppy edge, and an earthy texture. From far away, it looks like beautifully weathered leather.

You won’t see that coming and going.

What the Client Said…

Jean. I’m reading this while on the street and I just wanna cry! The storyline is just beautiful and when it comes to the Rwanda part, I could not hold my tears ‘cause it’s the truth and the real deal. It’s as though you have all been there!!!”

–Harriet Zaffoni, CEO, Ugandan Merchandise

MarketSmiths ®

Copywriting for Humans ®

Inc 5000 agency

M/WBE certified enterprise.

Digital by MadPipe. Photography by Chellise Michael.

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