HISTORIEN BAK DEMBA OSLO
A flight to Africa in 2017 was to be the start of an exciting adventure. Ole Demba sat expectantly in row 7. He was on his way to his father's homeland, Gambia. In addition to meeting the extended family again, he was to buy jewelry for himself and his friends in Norway. The suitcase was never filled with jewelry. It was filled with a dream. A dream to create what today is Demba Oslo.
Ole, who has always been interested in design and good craftsmanship, had a specific ring in mind when he entered the market in Gambia. After several hours of searching, he gave up hope of finding the dream ring. He had to take matters into his own hands. Instead of searching, he decided to find someone who could create the ring according to his own design.
There was one jeweler in particular who stood out, Momodou. His rings were more sophisticated and refined than products forged by others. Momodou was called Modu and he worked from a small room no larger than four square meters, without electricity and water. In this room he produced everything from rings, earrings and bracelets. There was no doubt that Modu had a special talent and Ole was fascinated. Modu was also involved in Ole's design. Together they agreed on a collaboration.
Neither Modu nor Ole had done anything similar before. Together they threw themselves into deep water. After an eventful holiday in his father's home country, Ole went home with a collection of ten different rings and a dream of selling them on the Norwegian market. A spark was lit and it did not take many days before the business plans were ready. The various designs were drawn and Ole, together with his business partner Guru, were ready for the next chapter. The dream had to wait so long. School, work and other projects got in the way and the dream of Demba Oslo was put on hold.
One year later, an email from Modu in Gambia arrived. It contained pictures of new rings. Modu had been inspired by the meeting with Ole and could not forget what they had begun. He had developed and was very involved in a further collaboration. Again, the spark was ignited in both Norway and the Gambia. Ole and Guru traveled again to Gambia to carry out what they had started. On 19 May 2018, they landed at Banjul International Airport, now completely ready for the next chapter.
Ole and Guru had prepared well before leaving for Gambia. They had a plan to open a workshop in the city of Bakau. Here, the selected blacksmiths were allowed to work under good conditions with the right equipment. The whole process of making a workshop and obtaining equipment was done together with the blacksmiths. This was Ole and Guru's chance to get to know the blacksmiths properly before they went home to Oslo. The end result ended above all expectations. The workshop was completed and the blacksmiths were well underway with production already 8 days into the trip to Ole and Guru. Without these 12 productive days, Demba Oslo would never look like it does today.
After the trip to Gambia in May 2018, the time was spent preparing for the launch. The collaboration with the blacksmiths in Gambia has developed into something very special. New designs and good communication have led to improved production flow. We challenge and help each other to develop a product both we and the customer can be proud of. Demba Oslo is not just a product. There is a canal between Gambia and Norway.
"The time before the launch in August 2018 was a long but exciting period. We have met inspiring people and learned a lot about ourselves and what Demba Oslo should be. We want to thank everyone around us for help, support and wise words. We are extremely grateful. for each one of you. Now let us write a new chapter. "
Together we are Demba Oslo.
Ole Demba & Guru.