Katie Walters is the founder + visionary behind Francis + Benedict. God ignited her heart for the women of Togo when she visited there in July of 2015. Francis + Benedict is the marriage of her love for well-made, fashion-forward clothing and seeing women worldwide excel at what God has called them to.
Francis and Benedict Avoyi are our partners on the ground in Togo, encouraging and equipping the seamstresses as well as navigating all overseas operations.
There are nine women who create each unique article of clothing in the workshop in Francis and Benedict’s home. They are trained, equipped and resourced to exceed goals and earn rewards on top of their fair wage. The process of bettering the lives of the artisans is our highest priority. We exclusively buy from Francis and Benedict for our American/Togolese line, however Francis and Benedict are empowered to grow their business with no limit to their productivity.
Learn more about our Togolese team:
After her husband's passing, Ayékinam and her five children were living in an aluminum house with no door and only a fabric curtain to protect them from the outside world. Since her employment as a seamstress with Francis + Benedict, she and her children have been able to move into a new home. She now earns a fair wage and is able to provide for herself and her children.
“Now that am working with Francis + Benedict I’ve re-gained my dignity. Sometimes I didn’t have food or money but since I started working, this problem is solved. When I did not have a place to sleep, you provided me with a house for me and my children.”
After the passing of her father, which led to financial hardships at home, Nadége had to walk away from continuing her education in order to help take care of her mother and four siblings. A local seamstress took Nadége under her wing and taught her everything she knows about sewing. At the age of 27, she continues to work tirelessly to hone her craft. Seeing people admire and enjoy garments that she has created brings her great joy and satisfaction. Because of her employment with Francis+Benedict, not only is Nadége making a fair wage that helps her support her family, but she is also gaining the freedom and independence to dream big dreams for her future.
Benedict is a wife (to Francis), mother of 3, and the leader of our seamstresses at Francis + Benedict. Her skills and leadership are invaluable to our team and they started developing years ago. She remembers a time when she would walk 28km each day to learn how to sew. Every morning before they start their work, she leads the seamstresses in a devotional. She says it's one of her favorite parts of the day. She knows each seamstress intimately and truly cares about them, their families, and their futures.
It's indisputable that Benedict is known as a loving, generous, and hospitable mother figure in her neighborhood, community and all over Togo. There's no other person we would rather have leading the team in Togo.