The MsAfropolitan Boutique aims to provide a platform where design by women of African heritage can be purchased, celebrated and reach a wide audience.
We believe that all creativity is a form of storytelling and when it reaches community the outcome is transformation and empowerment. Customers are invited to a shopping experience that centers around community and empowerment, including distinct and affordable products as well as a portfolio of the stories behind the brands in the MsAfropolitan Boutique Interview Series.
Could you describe All Thingz Nice in one or two sentences…
All Thingz Nice specializes in beautifully designed ethnically and culturally inspired jewelled clothing. Inspired by pride, history and symbols we combine images representative of countries from around the globe with contemporary fashion trends, fusing them to create a unique clothing brand.
Could you share an exciting development currently taking place for All Thingz Nice?
I am hoping to get involved with Jamaica’s 50th Independence celebrations in London. I receive the most special orders for the Jamaica and also with the number of athletes competing in the London 2012 Olympics for Jamaica it would be great to get some of the team wearing ATN. I have my sights set on Usain Bolt, I like a challenge ;0)
What does the term Afropolitan mean to you?
To me the term Afropolitan means a fusion between the western way of living and traditions from Africa. It means being aware and proud of your own heritage and also embracing the positive side of western or new cultures. It’s the best of both worlds really. The term is also reflective of what the ATN brand is about. ATN takes traditional symbols and recreates them using diamantes, the use of which is a very western fashion trend.
If you could pick one known African woman, Diaspora and continent, that you think is inspiring, who would that be and why?
Dr Theresa Oppong Beeko is the founder of the Manet Group, the second-largest real estate developer in Ghana. The company started off small but has since built thousands of homes around Ghana. Their target market was low income clients but the quality of their buildings attracted middle income earners. Dr Theresa started the company 18 years ago and it is listed as one of the top 20 in Ghana. What she has achieved is beyond impressive.
Is there any particular element from African culture that you maintain in London?
There are lots, but fashion is a main one, I see African prints and want them, ALL of them. African designers are so under rated. The styles, the prints and the elements of uniqueness is far greater than in western fashion. I love the Kente material from Ghana, I probably have more versions of Kente than I have events to wear them too!
I also love our family way of life. In my family, the parents are all over us all the time to encourage us to find the right path, stay on the right path, do the right thing. If there is a problem there is always so much support available, I am fortunate, my family mean a great deal to me. At times elders tend to forget that their children are actually adults which of course can be annoying, but it’s always with the best intentions. Sometimes there is a lot of laughter ;0) You may be an adult but you are still their child.
Do you have a favourite post on the MsAfropolitan blog, and why?
Most recently I read the Beyonce, skin colour and carrots blog. It was extremely well written and gave more food for thought on a much discussed topic. I have strong personal feelings about this topic. The whole bleaching trend is disgraceful and I feel amazed that in this day and age so many people (mainly women) still subscribe to the idea that white or light is better. Black is beautiful, white is beautiful, we are all beautiful but the members of the African, Caribbean and even Asian communities who bleach their skin send out two powerful messages; 1) Self-hatred is rife 2) the effects of slavery and colonialism have left an imprint on current generations. It’s sad really but I can’t be around people like that. They have issues of self-hatred on extreme levels. It goes way over my head. All Thingz Nice is about being proud, proud of who you are and where you are from.
What inspired the name for your business?
It was a very spur of the moment thing. I like nice things and initially my interest was in supplying costume jewellery. I also had a vision that eventually I would start other companies, and I wanted a name that could easily apply to other ventures. My interests vary, from luxury cars to property, from expensive jewellery and precious stones to red carpet fashion, so I wanted a name that would suit any future projects. All Thingz Nice makes a nice umbrella.
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Hi! I’m Minna Salami. I’m a writer, blogger, columnist, lecturer and speaker and the founder of the feminist blog, MsAfropolitan, which connects feminism to contemporary culture from an Africa-centred perspective. I’ve been listed alongside Michelle Obama and Angelina Jolie as one of “twelve women changing the world” by ELLE and my work has been used as a resource and case study at universities around the world. Like what you just read? Sign up above to receive new posts directly in your inbox.