The mission of TawiaDesigns is to provide comfortable handmade footwear with a touch of culture.The inspiration came from the desire to promote African Inspired footwear. They have a wide variety of comfortable shoes ranging from Dashkiki cloth, African Print cloth, to Leso cloth. Their products are developed through a combination of ethnic craftsmanship and aesthetic creativity. They believe in development through creating jobs throughout Africa, which is why they take pride in purchasing their textiles from various local textile shops around Africa.
Make sure you head to http://www.tawiadesigns.com/ to support and buy their merchandise..I definitely plan to! TawiaDesigns is definitely here to stay and leave their mark on the Fashion & Shoe world! Check Out the interview below!
1. How did the footwear/shoe concept “Tawia Designs” come about, and who are the masterminds behind it?
The shoe line “TawiaDesigns” was formulated in the summer of 2013 by founder Emmanuel King on a trip to Jamaica. I had been making shoes as a hobby the year before in college and whenever I’d wear my own pair out people would always give compliments or ask “where’d you get those from?!” So that summer while vacationing in Jamaica I decided to turn it into a mini business. The name “Tawia” just means born after twins in Fante, the tribe which I’m from back in Ghana.
2. Where were the Founders of “Tawia Designs” born & raised? Did the upbringing of each Founder have an influence on the merchandise that you decided to design and sell?
I was born and raised in Chicago, IL. My upbringing definitely had a impact on the shoe line. Being raised in a Ghanaian household I was always around different textiles at an early age. So the shoe line is more of a culture.
3. Define Fashion? And how would you describe the “Tawia Designs” style and how does it differentiate from other footwear lines?
Fashion is art, it is limitless. TawiaDesigns is different and different is attractive. I usually don’t like to compare TawiaDesigns to any other shoe lines we just like to create and stay in our own lane. The main thing we like to do is make sure each shoe has a African inspired cultural meaning behind it, it’s educational and that’s vital. During the process of designing shoes there is this mindset that there is illimitable space to create, so that’s what we do, we create. For our next shoe collection “Bijagós” we are working with Moroccan artisans. It’s important as a brand we are creating jobs back in Africa instead of giving handouts. Major key to sustainable communities.
4. Who is your specific audience that you are targeting?
There is no specific audience we target. If you have an appreciation for African textile, you’ll vibe with TawiaDesigns.
5. Who are some people in the Fashion Industry that you look up to for guidance, and ways to enhance the “Tawia Designs” brand?
There are so many designers/artist we are inspired by especially the African inspired brands. One that on is a wave right now is “Mizizi” their jerseys are amazing. As far as enhancing TawiaDesigns it’s simple, keep doing the same thing we’ve always done and that’s create. Creating is growth for TawiaDesigns.
6. What are 3 words that you would use to describe the Tawia Designs brand? Why?
Culture, History, Creative are 3 words that describe TawiaDesigns because it is a culture we represent, history we tell, and those two words infused with shoes is creative…it’s TawiaDesigns.
7. Where would you like to see the brand “Tawia Designs” in 5 years?
In 5 years we would like to see TawiaDesigns open its own store, that seems so far away though!
8. Are there any upcoming fashion shows, or launches for people to look forward to? Also will Tawia Designs be solely online, or can we look forward to an onsite location?
Yes! This spring we are launching our Spring/Summer 2016 “Bijagós” Collection. There is a launch party in the works that other designers/artists we’ll be collaborating with taking place in Chicago, IL. More details will be announced later next month.
For now we are solely online only. We are optimistic about eventually having our own store soon.
9. What is one of the biggest obstacles the company has had to endure thus far? And do you have any advice to those who are looking to start their own business?
One of the biggest obstacles is still being a college student and having to balance the shoe brand. But with family and friend assistance it has been balancing out very well.
In anything you do have a purpose for it. When starting any business it’s important you’re doing so because you love it and have a passion for it. One thing I can say is always be prepared to fail, it’s vital to the growth of you as an individual and your business.
10 .How can people get in contact with you via email or social media outlets?
Best way to contact us is through our social media accounts (@TawiaDesigns) for IG, Twitter. Also, emailing us at email@example.com
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