APiF: Please introduce your business and your designs.
Jezreel Designs: Jezreel Designs exists to showcase the beauty of the African craftsmanship while changing the perception that “made in Africa” is inferior.
APiF: When and why did you start using African Prints?
Jezreel Designs: About 6 years ago, I started playing around with the way I wear Ankara. I wanted to move away from the “traditional” use – making dresses to wear to parties – to a way of incorporating it into my everyday wardrobe. I came up with the idea of accessories and made my first bag on my living room floor. I had no clue what I was doing. I actually looked at that bag the other day and laughed at myself! Then I was grateful for how far God has brought me.
APiF: How do u feel about the new African Prints trend? Is it here to stay?
Jezreel Designs: I personally hate the whole “trend”! Africans have been wearing it for years and don’t need the fashion world to validate it. It is here to stay because it is part of our culture. Silk never goes out of fashion, so why should our fabric?!
APiF: Fashion Finds: What is your favorite piece of your collection and why?
Jezreel Designs: This current collection, From Omidan to Miss, is inspired by a picture of my grandmother when she was in her twenties. So my favorite would have to be the bag Miss Kuku, which was her maiden name.
APiF: How do you market your designs and how do you make them accessible to a global audience?
Jezreel Designs: The Jezreel Designs woman isn’t only from Africa or of African descent, but global. And that is the view point from which we market. Our products are currently available on MyAsho.com who ship worldwide and we are ALWAYS looking for more sales avenues in different countries. We are currently working on having our products available in Vienna through a new boutique. And of course blogs like yours are great for us, too.
APiF: Any tips for new designers/start-ups in the fashion industry?
Jezreel Designs: Don’t take NO for an answer! If it’s truly your dream, then follow it! Find a good friend who believes in your vision and who you can bounce ideas off. Do not be afraid to make mistakes, it’s all part of the process. Trust in the God who gave you the idea in the first place.