This past weekend, I swapped until I (nearly) dropped. And it was awesome.

Welcome to the SWAP!

Remember the Gazelle Skirt fashion blog? My friends Jenn, Amy and I launched it last year. One of the readers suggested a clothing swap and so we brainstormed it a bit and came up with a way to make it a clothing drive for the women’s prison.

Swappers swapping
One of the many racks and stacks of clothing to choose from

It went like this…

1. Have participants bring clothes that are in good condition, but that they no longer want.
2. For each item of clothing they bring, they can take one item home. Swap!
3. Items left at the end of the day are donated to women in the local prisons.
4. Invite some of our favorite fashionable local vendors to sell at the event.
5. Invite Ndeye, an amazing woman who has volunteered in Dakar’s prisons for more than 12 years.
6. Charge an admission fee to cover expenses and transportation of the donations to the prisons.

Over 70 people attended the event!

Well ladies readers, the second Gazelle Skirt event was a very fashionable success! Thank you so much to all of you who came out to participate (ahem, drop-n-shop) in the SWAP and who helped out with setting up, folding and refolding, cleaning up and just lending a hand wherever needed. Corrie, Nour and Anne-Marie were amazing and spent hours helping us get ready.

Jenn and Nour
Jenn and Nour
Corrie putting together display outfits.
Corrie putting together display outfits.
The Gazelle Skirt bloggers
The Gazelle Skirt bloggers

Over 100,000cfa was raised through entry fees and donations to help offset the costs of transporting the clothing to women in prisons in Dakar, Rufisque and Thies. The funds were given to our guest of honor, Mme Ndeye Diouf, who has been volunteering in these prisons for over 12 years as an advocate for women who are estranged from their families and women from countries outside of Senegal and need help advancing their cases. Maman Ndeye, thank you for your tireless service to those in prisons in the Dakar region. It is an honor and privilege to come alongside you in this work.

The organizers and volunteers at the end of the SWAP
The organizers and volunteers at the end of the SWAP

Now back to the shopping… below you’ll find information on this year’s SWAP vendors and how to get in touch with them for placing orders.

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 9.06.58 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 9.16.37 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 9.17.01 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 9.14.41 PM

Tony Alves
Custom-made shoes
77 387 06 92
Tony is a very skilled cobbler who loves what he does – which is lucky for us shoe-lovers! He makes shoes for men and women in a wide variety of styles, all depending on your preferences and creativity. He is willing to visit customers at home to discuss their preferences and get their sizes. Just show him a photo or browse his images of shoes he’s already made. Prices start at 7000cfa for sandals. Speaks French.

 Anne de la V. boutique
Clothing and accessories
77 606 6162

Anne de la V.

Her boutique is located in Ouakam, Cité Asecna, near Brioche Dorée. With Brioche Dorée behind you, it’s four blocks down on your right. The boutique will be on your left. Open Monday thru Saturday, 10am to 7pm. Shop the collection or place a custom order. She speaks English, French and Wolof.

Chayas and ‘tenues de soir’
77 631 7437
You can order directly from Patricia directly at any time. Most orders can be completed in just four or five days. The chayas are 5000 cfa/pair, plus reimbursing her for her taxi fare if you want them delivered to you. She speaks English, French and Wolof.

Bathie Ndiaye
77 666 2957


Both hands: 4000cfa / Both feet 3000cfa
Bathie does beautiful henna designs that last 2-4 weeks. He’s fast, detailed and really, really good! And his prices are great. He’ll do henna parties at your home too. Speaks French and Wolof, but good at charades!

Artisans in the prisons
The women in Liberté 6 and Rufisque prisons are learning craft skills, such as embroidery and beading, that our shoppers really appreciated! To purchase more or arrange a vendor for a sale event, send us an email and we’ll put you in touch with the coordinator.

Rama of AfricaNubian
77 755 0413


Wax print bags, earrings, wire headbands {new!}, custom-made clothes, and even home accents are available. She had a shop in Sacré Coeur 1 (see pictures here), but is now selling from her home in Point E.

Rama Diaw
Thanks to Amy Farley for bringing down a fabulous selection of designs from Rama Diaw in Saint-Louis!