Linda Hackett is the Designer and Owner of Global Girls. Linda's love of fashion, design and interest in world cultures has been a common thread throughout her life and career, which includes stints as a designer, wardrobe stylist and home accessories buyer. Since her teens, Linda has also lived and traveled extensively abroad where she's forever been attracted to unique, handmade items.
Linda's interest in world cultures began early when, as a young girl, she delighted in visiting the Festival of Nation's show where she learned about the food and the dress of cultures from around the world. Her interest in fashion grew as did her eye for style and design, leading her to become a wardrobe stylist and costume designer in her early twenties. That same passion for design, coupled with her sense of marketable products, helped her land a job as an international home accessories buyer, for which she scoured the globe in pursuit of exceptional, upscale home décor.
During Linda's international travels, her love of the unique and hand-made has frequently led her off the beaten-track to discover the talents of craftspeople working in small communities.
On a trip to Kenya in 2008, Linda was impressed by the talented artisans who excelled at the traditional craft of beadwork, many of them disenfranchised women. She also witnessed the great need for jobs and realized the incredibly important role of women in African life. What's more, she was inspired by African design and was excited about the possibility of connecting the underemployed, skilled artisans with a market for their handmade sandals in the U.S. And, perhaps most importantly, Linda was at a place in her life where she yearned to do something that would help the world in some small way and was confident that she could create an opportunity that would have a positive impact on the artisans' lives.
Living in Los Angeles (as Linda calls, "the sandal capital of the world"), Linda felt sure that she could develop a market for the handmade sandals from Africa. What's more, she was confident she could design sandals that American women would enjoy by combining her design skills and her knowledge of American tastes with the talent of the African artisans.
And so in May, 2008 Global Girls was born. The company has grown from working with five artisans at the start to currently providing steady work for about 170 skilled craftspeople. The sandals are now sold world-wide in some of the finest shops along side some of the most exclusive brands.
Linda has spent much of the past eight years in Kenya having made more than a dozen trips there. She now spends about two months a year in Kenya working with the artisans to produce new sandals styles and to develop new products. Linda is still inspired by African design and regularly seeks to incorporate the bold, colorful designs she finds in tribal beadwork in her sandals and other accessories. She hopes to add other special items from talented artisans from different countries to the Global Girls collection in the near future.