Melanie has more years experience in the fashion industry then she cares to admit. She has held executive manufacturing positions at companies including Polo, Liz Claiborne, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors and Edun to name a few. In 2010 while working at Edun she made her first trip to Kibera , Kenya. It was on that first trip where she was inspired to start Nitakula which translated from Swahili means " I will eat ". Melanie lives in a small town in Westchester County, NY with her son and 4 dogs.
James is a Thiel 20 Under 20 Fellow, one of the youngest Y-Combinator grads, and has just been nominated for a Forbes 30 under 30 award. James started his first company when he was just 12 years old and since then has gone one to have a few extremely successful startups. James is passionate about teaching entrepreneurship in developing countries and has even helped to build the entrepreneurship curriculum at UFM in Guatemala.
Jessica graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design. On a trip to Ghana to teach pattern-making and sewing to Liberian refugee women, she realized how empowered these women could be if they have a strong skill set at their disposal. She worked from 2008-2014 at Edun overseeing product development and production in Sub-Saharan Africa. She is now based in Nairobi, Kenya and works full-time training artisans in design, quality, sourcing and production management.