Do the best you can with what you have; don’t complain about what you don’t have, what have you done with what you have? This statement might sound clichéd but it resonates with truth. Day after day, Africans carp about how they wish things should or could be, but the question is, do the many impactful Africans world-over possess super-human powers? Perhaps they do, and in that case, let’s make welcome another African Superwoman!!!
The creative Naa Quartey of Ghana is a designer who creates fashion accessories strictly from Ghanaian textiles…talk about ‘repping’ your country! The young woman who founded the online crafts shop ‘Roots by Naa’ is passionate about reviving the culture of home-grown fashion amongst her country-men, and promoting the use of Ghanaian textiles to the fashion industry through her unique fashion accessories which are created to add a perk or two to any outfit.
According to the Roots by Naa site, “Fashion accessories made from Ghanaian textiles is our PASSION…our range of products include brooches, hairbands, hair combs, hair barrettes, etc.”
To paraphrase an advertising adage, “a good product without advertising is like winking the dark…no one can see you;” and that is the difference between the scores of artistic people who can create pieces like these and Naa, who was selected as a Ghana Innovation Hero by #InnovationGhana; a new initiative by the Ministry of Trade & Industry supported by Google.
On her decision to do business online, Naa says, “I created this online shop to give access to clients who due to distance, time and work issues are unable to go shopping for much needed accessories. Traffic in Accra alone is crazy and many more people want ease and convenience when it comes to shopping. So aside from the ability to order online, deliveries are made to clients on their doorsteps.” She adds, “I started my online shop Roots by Naa because I had a day job already and I knew I wouldn’t be able to physically manage a shop. I also knew that social media was my easy access to many online prospective customers via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc, so using social media in collaboration with the website I could draw in many customers.” And her business plan was activated and implemented right from her mother’s house which doubled as a workshop.
Roots by Naa was featured on Google’s AfricaConnected in September 2013, where success stories in Africa which are powered by the web are being shared and celebrated. Via the internet and social media she has clients from as far as the UK, and she plans to make her products available to local merchants-girls who may therefore improve their standard of living from the profits they make off sales.
Naa Quartey is also a blogger –ganyobinaa.blogspot.com- and at the Ghana social Media Awards in March 2013, she won the Best Lifestyle blog and Best Creative, Literary Short Stories, and Poetry Blog award. A writer and a designer, nice combo.
Naa says “Nothing comes without challenges but with such challenges should be the capacity to overcome them.”
So to you, dear creative person, forget those banks that won’t give you loans; do the best you can with what you have and as surely as the day breaks at morn, your gift will make a way for you.
Editors addendum: This is the free Google-powered website to get your business online…use it! http://www.getafricaonline.com/