Introducing MINIBAP!

15181239_1803941693207883_366207516347744010_nWord is getting around that a new, carefully curated gift shop for big and small will be opening in Dakar. I’ve been following their Instagram feed and am very excited about what these two amazing ladies are creating. One important detail to note: Follow their Facebook page for updates on new stock! 

So first, give us the background. Who are and what is MINIBAP?

Well, we are Martine and Annica, each with our own brands (BAPRIBAP and MINITECTURE) based out of Dakar. We had a shared vision for what the perfect shop would look like. And here it is! Welcome to Minibap!

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Sounds like a fantastic collaboration. When I think of MINITECTURE, I think of clean designs that inspire creativity. And BAPRIBAP for me is high quality, very wearable and beautiful. So what kinds of things can we expect to find in your shop?

Thanks! In addition to our own two brands, most of the products we’ve looked at carrying fit your descriptions above. Design is extremely important, as is play and creativity, but all the products we’ll carry should also be high quality, beautiful and importantly, functional. We are open to anything and everything as long as it feels right. You can expect to find gifts for kids (of course!), treats like chocolate and honey, home decor items like potted plants, baskets, furniture, and glassware, natural beauty products, clothes and accessories. And the wish list of items that will eventually be in the shop is very long!

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Is the focus on home or family?

Both. Its really a lifestyle shop, and a gift shop. We want it to be the kind of place where you can always find something you need for a special gift but would have a hard time leaving without picking up something for yourself, your kids, or your home at the same time.

And what makes Minibap different from, say, a hotel gift shop?

Well for starters we’re hoping to provide customers with a much more personal experience, and we want to foster a sense of community through the shop. We’d like to eventually host events, maybe start a sewing class for kids with bapribap or a craft class with minutecture… stuff like that.

We hope to serve also as an exhibition space for photographers and creators who aren’t a part of the usual shop inventory. So we hope the change up the inventory quite a bit.

We’re also keen to hear from you! What is missing in Dakar? What do people want to see? We are very much at the beginning stages of this and if all goes well, it will take shape organically as we learn more about our customers and our community. Last but not least our price point will be considerably lower than a hotel gift shop…

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Are the items locally, regionally or globally sourced?

All of the above. We’ll have local vendors whose stock will always be available in the shop, regional vendors. We currently have products coming from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Morocco, and we are open to sourcing globally as well if the opportunities arise for it and the product is right.

How do you cultivate entrepreneurship?
By offering an outlet for good products. We are not at all interested in creating loads of new products ourselves – too much work! We want to buy from others. We’ll also have an online shop and are hoping to sell abroad, giving vendors who work with us a wider online presence and hopefully more sales volume.

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What are the qualifications ‘to be MINIBAP’?
It has to be well designed, beautiful, functional and tell a story.

Are there any MINIBAP basics that we can expect to always find in stock, or will each collection bring all new items?
Of course you’ll always find MINITECTURE and BAPRIBAP. You’ll probably also find certain home/decor items that we’ve collaborated on together, like mirrors and small furniture pieces, and these collections will change.

As for other vendors, it depends how it goes! We hope to always have Dew Beauty products and Beldi glassware from Morocco. We hope to always have regular but changing collections from local vendors we want to collaborate with, like Anne Calfo and Imadi, but nothing is set in stone yet and there will always be new items and new vendors to work with. We want to experiment and have fun with it.

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screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-1-50-39-pmHow do we find the MINIBAP shop?

It’s super easy to find. It’s one block up from the City Dia in Point E on rue A, the same road that runs all the way from the corniche through Fann, Point E and Amitié 2.

What will your hours be?

From 9am to 6pm on Monday thru Friday and 11am to 3pm on Saturdays.

Any special launch event we should mark on our calendars?

We are having a holiday event and official opening on the 9th and 10th of December. Come! And bring your friends!

How can we keep up with MINIBAP online?

Through our Facebook page and our instagram feed @shopminibap

Thanks! And welcome to Dakar, MINBAP.

2017 Gazelle Skirt SWAP!

The Gazelle Skirt is excited to announce its 5th SWAP event! On the morning of Saturday, January 28th, we will be hosting a clothing SWAP and proceeds will benefit the women’s prisons in Dakar and Rufisque.

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Who’s invited?
All members of our Facebook Group (join here) and their guests.

Our guest of honor is Mme Ndeye Diouf who has volunteered in the prisons for 15 years.

When and where?
The SWAP will be held in Pojnt E from 10am to noon on January 28th. For directions, see our Facebook page.

How does it work?
Donate women’s clothing items that you no longer want and swap them with others.

  • Clothing must  be in good condition, clean and folded.
  • Shoes, jewelry, handbags and other accessories in good condition may be swapped as well.
  • For each item you bring, you will receive one ticket.
  • All items ‘cost’ one ticket.
  • Any items remaining at the end of the day will be donated to detainees at the women’s prison.

Please note that t-shirts and underwear are not allowed in the SWAP, but if they are in good condition, we happily accept them as donations .

Due to the growth of this event, clothing must be dropped off at one of the two locations (Mermoz, Almadies or Hann Maristes) BEFORE January 21st! Drop-off dates and times will be announced on our Facebook page. If you choose to drop off clothing at a time outside of those specified, you may send your clothing via Sen Express (3000 cfa flat rate). Contact us for the address details and to set this up.

When you arrive at the SWAP, your ticket will be ready and waiting so you can start shopping right away!

“Wow. This sounds amazing. The entry fee is probably like 10,000cfa, right?”

No, my friend. Special price for you, nice lady. 😉

Entry for the event is 1,500cfa and proceeds will go towards expenses and transporting the clothing to the women’s prisons.

Why do a #WaxtasticChallenge ?

This year is my second year doing the Waxtastic Challenge. I first started on a dare from one of my students – My goodness! “How many different wax outfits do you in fact have? How long can you go without repeating one? Maybe a week?” – And so the Waxtastic Challenge was born. Followed by 40 days of wax fabric indulgence!


There are no precise rules except for the following: Celebrate Senegalese fashion and promote Senegalese tailors, vendors, designers and artists!

For me, this means that I’ll be featuring as many different made-in-Senegal fashion pieces as possible throughout the month of November. For others, it could be as simple as sharing a favorite outfit or a favorite boutique. Tag your posts on social media with #WaxtasticChallenge to share the love!


Why do it?

1) It helps bring some joy to the last few dreadfully hot days of the season.
Can’t help but just start sweating as soon as you open your closet in the morning, a Pavlov reaction to weeks of sweat-soaked clothing? Counting down the days until you can wear jeans again? Mix it up a little bit and find some joy again in your clothes!
2) A great way to figure out what exactly you have in your closet… and that suitcase in the corner… and that bag of clothes under the bed…

If you’re anything like me, there’s nothing like the process of building that perfect new wax ensemble. Perusing the market for that perfect pattern, pouring over endless pinterest posts for that spark of inspiration, working with your tailor to somehow make that a reality – in whatever language works (Franglof is my favorite! French+English+Wolof!), visiting for alterations for that custom-made fit, and finally the joy of wearing it out for the first time. But that means that I have an endless array of dresses, tops, skirts, pants in the back of my closet that have gotten buried underneath my newly-acquired masterpieces. Time to pull them out and see what still works and what should be donated. Consider it prepping for the Gazelle Skirt Clothing SWAP in January.


3) Share your favorite designers and boutiques, and hopefully bring some more business their way!
There’s some many wonderful designers in Dakar left to discover. Share your favorites and see what others are featuring. Maybe you’ll find that special piece that’s been missing from your collection or a new go-to for gifts.

4) It’s just plain fun! 

Who doesn’t love wearing wax fabric, looking at wax fabric, dreaming of wax fabric?!?!?!

Hope to see you all on Facebook and Instagram! Can’t wait to see what magic you have in your closets!

With a love for all things wax,
Elke

DWG Christmas Bazaar!

The Dakar Women’s Group presents the 2016 Christmas Bazaar. 

The best shopping day of the year!

This Christmas Bazaar will be our biggest yet with over 100 vendors and a bake sale. 

The Bazaar will be held at ISD from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, November 19th. 

Entry fee is 1000 CFA/adult and 500 CFA/children up to age 12. Bring the whole family! 

There will be great food, Santa will pay a visit and we’ll have the car raapide available for memorable Christmas photos! 

Proceeds go to charities in Dakar and surrounding areas.

Stripes + Flags // a masterclass in Dakar

This year’s Dak’Art Biennale overarching theme is ‘Contemporary African Art and the Aesthetics of Translations’. It instantly inspired designer Annegret Affolderbach to bring her ‘stripes + flags’ masterclass to Dakar to provide exactly such an unforgettable experience. Mark you calendars and register now for this one-time only event on May 11th from 10 – 5pm!

“My creative work has led me to realise that one of the best contributions I can make as a designer, is to create an unforgettable experience for others,” explains Annegret. “‘Stripes + Flags’ provides a space where sacred West African tradition and symbolism of contemporary life meet. It is a meaningful space fostering the exploration of the traditions, stories and symbolisms of West African Asafo flags and contemporary stripes with the purpose of translating these into flags of personal significance.”

Each flag will be made from striped second-hand shirts individually sourced from Dakar’s local fugg-jaay, also called the “shake-n-sell” market. The transformation of these shirts into flags and embedding them with deeply personal symbolism breathes new life and aesthetics into old ‘cloth’.

Having worked in sustainable fashion for the past 10 years, Annegret developed a deep desire to design the ultimate luxury; a contribution to the architecture of our identities reaching far beyond style, an experience and beautiful memory to keep. It’s an opportunity for the curious, the creatively minded or those who might not have a safe space or inner compass enabling them to freely enquire into their creative layers.

“Over the past few years I have developed a love for Ghanaian Asafo flags,” she explains. “I chose them as the central theme for this masterclass and the most prominent one is their expression of community, storytelling and ownership. The same goes for stripes; a stripe is only ever a stripe in company of another stripe. The fundamental commonalities of unity, community and historic richness embedded in both stripes and flags, in my eyes made the perfect masterclass material.”

Inspired by the beauty of Ghanaian Asafo flags and the meaning of stripes in flags and fashion, this masterclass explores their deeper meaning, history and significance. It is designed to be a day of personal discovery resulting in the creation of a personally significant stripe & symbolism embedded in a flag that you create. Much like a Kente or Tartan, this profound flag could be passed down from generation to generation.

The event is hosted by BAPRIBAP, the cutest childrens wear brand made in Senegal at the beautiful N’GOR Restaurant.

May 11th,  2016 from 10 – 5pm.
N’Gor Restaurant/ Pied Dans L’eau, petite Corniche des Almadies, Dakar
50,000 cfa. includes masterclass kit
For bookings in CFA, please contact Annica of Bapribap: annica.ojermark@gmail.com or book online here.

The beautiful photos courtesy of Sadia Rafique.

The dermatologist recap…

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This morning’s post on IG

To be honest, I wanted the dermatologist to tell me that using products X, Y and Z twice daily would make my skin look like a 20 year old’s until the day I die. Not quite what I got. This particular dermatologist (contact info below) is not so much into creams and lotions and such. And surprisingly, not as into sunscreen as I expected!

– Between age 30-35, a woman’s skin changes significantly (losing firmness) and then again at menopause (losing elasticity). Neither can be prevented but both can be dealt with well… or badly.

– Drinking water is key because hydration begins on the inside.

– She recommended Anthélios sunscreen SPF 50 (and a hat) for when I run or go to the pool/beach, but said a little sun day-to-day is not bad for your skin and studies are showing it may even be beneficial. Anthélios makes several SPF levels and formulas for different kinds of skin (mattifying, etc…) and she said a trained pharmacist should be able to help you choose a good match for your skin. (Several Gazelle Skirt readers recommended Anthélios and products by its parent company, La Roche-Posay, so I will definitely be trying this!)

– Baobab oil does not penetrate to the deepest skin layers, but forms a protective barrier. So if your skin is dry, you need to hydrate it first with a moisturizing cream and then apply baobab oil. She recommended Icytane HD as a deep moisturizer if one is needed.

– Retin A and other similar products may be helpful for fine lines but she suggests instead twice daily very gentle facial massages, tapping your skin with your fingertips while moving upward. In her opinion, the actual product is less important than the manner and frequency in which it is applied. The stimulation from the massage will increase blood flow and overall health of your skin.

– Chemical peels do work, but many women do not need them.

– It’s all mostly genetics anyway.

Dr. Sonia Bouksani is located in the Urgencies Cardio offices on the Ancienne Piste (and she speaks English). 77 510 0535