By providing talented Ghanaian artisans who design one-of-a-kind works of art with access to a global market, Guido’s Heart. is dedicated to providing each artisan with the ability to change the trajectory of their lives and the lives of their community members by gaining financial security and independence.
To connect exceptional Ghanaian artisans with customers across the globe who value high-quality, sustainable, handmade, and fair trade goods.
Our company is inspired by Guido Sohne, a visionary leader, software developer, and entrepreneur who dedicated his life to using technology to create development opportunities for Africa by Africans. He believed that Africans should be in charge creating their own destiny.
Our work will be guided by beliefs and value near and dear to Guido’s heart:
Integrity - we value our partner artisans and place a premium on ensuring compensation for their work is above market value.
Sustainability - we strive to work with our partners to offer high quality products made from sustainable and locally sourced items.
Agency - we are committed to providing our partner artisans with access to a global market and steady source of income so that they have the ability to change the trajectory of their lives.
In keeping with our values of creating opportunities for every day Africans, a portion of proceeds from our sales will fund the Guido Sohne Fellowship, an annual scholarship awarded to rising stars who have the potential to make an impact on the lives of others.
In July of 2022, Sandra Sohne-Johnston traveled to her home in Accra, Ghana to celebrate a number of family milestones. Her cousin gave her a Bolga basket as a gift. Following a series of conversations with weaver and designer Akolbila Richmond in his streetside shop, she learned how difficult it was for him to make ends meet. Recognizing his talent and drive, Sandra pledged to help him generate additional income by selling fifteen baskets to friends and family. Within days of advertising his products on her social media platforms, she received orders for close to 42 traditional Bolga Market Baskets and 5 laundry baskets. In the span of just three weeks, Akolbila earned more money than the average Ghanaian earns in a six-month period and generated enough work to employ approximately 20 weavers. In an effort to increase the visibility of his products and expand his market, Sandra founded Guido’s Heart. Her vision is to connect exceptional Ghanaian artisans like Akolbila Richmond with customers around the world who value high-quality, sustainable, handmade, and fair trade goods.
She named her business after her older brother, Guido who was an African software developer and proponent of open-source, co-founder of FOSSFA, the Free and Open Source Software Foundation for Africa, and Platform Strategy Manager for Microsoft until his death in 2008. He was an innovator who wanted to cultivate and nurture native talent. We are equally committed to nurturing and elevating the work of everyday Ghanaians. By providing talented Ghanaian artisans who design one-of-a-kind works of art with access to a global market, Guido’s Heart, is dedicated to providing each artisan with the ability to change the trajectory of their lives and the lives of their community members by gaining financial security and independence.
We owe a debt of gratitude to the incredible support we’ve received from family and friends. None of this would have been possible without the creative genius and technological support from Cobalt Partners, encouragement from Enyo Kumahor, and feedback and support from Sandra’s parents, husband and children. Of course, the initial gift of her basket, introduction to Akolbila Richmond, and the overwhelming support from friends who made initial purchases all inspired Sandra to create Guido’s Heart on the 14th anniversary of his death and the occasion of her mother’s 85th birthday.