MsAfropolitan Boutique Interview Series – Mariama Tushemeriirwe, Founder of Mariama

The mission of the MsAfropolitan Boutique is to showcase and offer a handpicked range of products made by African Diaspora women on a rotating basis. Visit us here.
As part of my journey to achieving this goal, I’ve met many inspiring women whose stories I want to share with you in an interview series features which you can follow here.

There are certain products that are so individual and unique that the moment you see them you just know you’ve come across something special.The Mariama product range had that effect on me.

When Mariama started following me on twitter I went on to the website and rather than bookmark it as I usually do when a brand catches my attention, I immediately placed an order for the lavender scented cushions for me and my mum!

The cushions which I now keep on my bed are absolutely great. They give a delicious and relaxing scent to tuck in to.

I’m even happier to be selling a lavender scented cushion set in the boutique. Mariama has put together a wonderful Xmas/Kwanzaa gift set for us which comes with wrapping paper, ribbon and tag and four cushions – check it out, this makes a beautiful present and the price is very reasonable.

What does the term Afropolitan mean to you?

A person of African, African Caribbean heritage born and raised in the Diaspora. Someone who draws influences from their collective cultural experiences from the African continent and beyond.

Could you describe Mariama in one or two sentences?
Fashion, accessories and homeware with a touch of Afropolitan, utilizing reused, recycled and upcycled fabrics and fibres and African-inspired fabrics to create one off pieces and limited edition collections.

Could you share an exciting development currently taking place for Mariama?

We are currently developing a knitted accessories and jersey and knitted woman’s clothing range, which is very exciting.

What inspired the name for your business?
Mariama means gift of god or gift of divine oneness, depending on one’s belief system and I wanted a name that was beautiful and memorable.

If you could pick one known African woman, Diaspora and continent, that you think is inspiring, who would that be and why?

I’m a big reader and was given an Octavia E Butler for one of my birthdays some years ago. Since then, I’ve become hooked and have read about her life, why she became a writer, her resilience to pursue her passion despite people advising her otherwise. Along my own personal journey I have met many women with similar stories to hers and it makes me strive that little bit more.

Is there any particular element from African culture that you maintain in England?

I was born in London of African Caribbean parentage, I grew up in Derby and moved back to London to study, whilst studying I took a work study trip to Uganda and loved the warmth from the people there. I am heavy influenced by Barbadian culture, many of the beautiful textiles and crafts on the African continent and London as it is place where you can express your creativity freely.

Do you have a favourite post on the MsAfropolitan blog, and why?
I like the 7 things Afropolitan women don’t like to be told, brilliant and so true.

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