Name: Louise Sano, 41.
Who she is: Owner of Global Villages, a shop at 216 Grant St. that specializes in home accessories, jewelry and other gifts from artisans around the world, and Global Chic, 242 Grant St., a clothing boutique that also sells African wax print fabrics. She is on the board of the Girls Education Collaborative and the Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI). The Rwanda-born Sano moved to Namibia at age 18, where she finished high school and earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Namibia. She speaks four languages – Kinyarwanda, French, English and Portuguese – and is married to Jean Claude Mugiraneza. A resident of the Town of Tonawanda, she was one of the original merchants at WEDI’s international business incubator, the West Side Bazaar on Grant Street, which opened in 2011.
What she’s wearing: A two-piece purple and yellow dress of African wax print fabric made for her by a friend. Her handmade earrings, necklace and bracelet are from Thailand, as are her low-heeled black shoes. The bangle watch is one of many watches she owns. “I like small watches,” Sano said.
Signature pieces: Watches. Her fondness for watches began with her very first Swatch watch, a gift from her uncle. It was plastic and waterproof. Through the years she continued to collect Swatches, which now come in more sophisticated styles. “Swatch watches have always been in my life. I’ve been wearing them for 32 years,” she said.
Fashion statement: “I like to wear dresses a lot. In the winter I wear sweater dresses and leggings. In summer, it’s just dresses. Dresses are easy,” she said.
Sano said she always matches her shoes, earrings and watch to one of the colors in her dress, but not the main color.
“I’ve heard you shouldn’t wear more than three colors. I don’t want to look like a Christmas tree,” Sano said.
Recent purchase: “It has to be a dress. If I see a dress I like, it’s hard for me to resist it. It has to be ‘Wow.’ If it’s not ‘Wow,’ I won’t buy it,” she said.
In the market for: “I’m looking for yellow shoes. I feel like I should be wearing yellow shoes with this dress,” she said, eyeing her black shoes.
Story topics: Fashion Friday